The Countdown Food Rescue Christmas Appeal has kicked off in Countdown stores around the country, with the company donating $90,000 worth of groceries to The Salvation Army and encouraging shoppers to donate items to New Zealanders in need.
This year more than 17,000 Kiwi families are expected to turn to The Salvation Army for help over the Christmas period.
The Salvation Army’s National Secretary for welfare services, Major Pamela Waugh, says demand for food parcels remains at a high and historically, there is always a peak in food parcel demand over the festive season.
“Each Christmas, thousands of New Zealanders face the fear of being unable to put Christmas dinner on the table for their families. Last year, we saw a 12 per cent increase in demand, giving out our second highest number of food parcels in a decade. This year is looking like remaining at those same high levels,” says Major Waugh.
The appeal runs until 16 December, stocking Salvation Army foodbanks and helping people ensure they can put food on the table on Christmas Day and on through the holiday period.
To kick-off the appeal, Countdown stores across the country have donated $500 worth of groceries to their local Salvation Army. Shoppers can also donate food in specially marked trolleys in-store, or online via The Foodbank Project, New Zealand’s only online foodbank.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, says the Appeal is an easy way to make a meaningful difference this Christmas. And while food essentials for the Christmas period are the number one priority, Countdown is also encouraging customers to donate a few Christmas treats as well, which families would otherwise go without.
“A food parcel can make all the difference for families this Christmas. Every New Zealander deserves to celebrate Christmas without hunger, which is why each donation, no matter how big or small, can make a huge difference to the lives of families in our communities,” says Kiri Hannifin.
Most-needed food items for Countdown’s Food Rescue Christmas Appeal
• Canned goods e.g. baked beans, tomatoes and soup
• Toiletries e.g. soap, shampoo, moisturiser and beauty essentials
• Pasta and rice
• Sugar, flour and spread
• Tinned fruit, jellies
• Baby food
• Tea, coffee, Milo
• Christmas treats e.g. chocolates, Christmas mince pies, Christmas cakes, sweet treats