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Napier people generous despite difficult year

From left Alice and Sue Chappell with Linda Howard 00000002

Thank you Napier.

Despite navigating a pandemic and severe flooding event, you have continued to support the Napier Community Foodbank, providing much needed food for people facing varying degrees of poverty and hardship.

Napier Community Foodbank Manager, Maggie Ronchi, witnesses first-hand the generosity of Napier people as food collections are delivered to the Foodbank’s depot, and says it is heart-warming to see the community still looking after each other, even after such an “unprecedented year”.

“I believe Napier is a very generous city,” Maggie says.

“Donations are received through supermarket collection bins, damaged and close to use-by dated stock and leftover bread from supermarkets, also donated groceries from various community groups and organisations.

“A local bakery supplies 50 loaves of bread each week specifically for us and we receive weekly donations from local churches as well.

“Each year in May we run our Feed the Bus Fuel the Family initiative taking a bus around schools and collecting donations from children and staff. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we were unable to do it this year; however, we saw an amazing increase in donations through supermarket collections, which was wonderful and certainly kept us in stock.

“Leading up to Christmas we always receive festive treats in donations too, which we are able to pass on to parcel recipients. We are so grateful.”

Food parcels provide four days’ emergency food relief in the form of everyday food items and hygiene products. Parcels vary in size according to the number of people in each family or situation.

In November alone, Napier Community Foodbank supplied 146 parcels through 23 different health and welfare service agencies, providing 236 children and 219 adults with emergency food relief.

The Foodbank doesn’t have direct contact with the people they supply food parcels to, but recent survey responses from agencies revealed humbling feedback;

“The families are so grateful. They can feed their children and are able to attend school with full tummies.”

“They are not going to starve, and they have managed to pay a long-term bill.”

While one comment simply says, “Without a parcel they don't eat.”

Maggie says by supplying food in situations of food poverty, clients are more accepting of further help from agencies in other areas of hardship.

“This may include budgeting support or other health services that may better help their specific situation. We can often make suggestions to agencies of other services available for their clients, which they may not be aware of.”

The Napier Community Foodbank was established in 1988 out of All Saints Church, Taradale when some members decided to give away excess vegetables from their garage.

It went on to become registered as an Incorporated Society in 1996 and then a Charitable Trust in 2008.

It now has 70 volunteers, including a six-member board plus two part time paid staff.

“It is very much community supporting community and we are so grateful to be part of such a caring one,” Maggie says.

23 December 2020

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