The Salvation Army in Queenstown is changing the way it operates its food services with the aim of increasing the sense of agency and dignity experienced by people struggling to get by.
The traditional Sallies foodbank—where families are provided with groceries selected by someone else—has been replaced in Queenstown by a new approach that is more along the lines of a supermarket.
“With the rising cost of living, many households are struggling to afford the basics,” says Lt Andrew Wilson, Director of The Salvation Army’s Queenstown Community Ministries.
“Our ‘supermarket’ model enables people who access our service the opportunity to decide for themselves what food and household items they need.
“It means we can provide a sense of agency and dignity to those who often feel they’ve lost a degree of control over their lives.”
People presenting to the food service will continue to be assessed by a support worker but will be invited to pick items off the foodbank shelves which best meet their needs.
“Our clients come with a range of dietary and cultural needs. By enabling them to choose their own items, we can help ensure that everyone leaves with what they need and nothing they do not. This helps us make the best use of the food and other grocery items we hold and helps us better understand the specific grocery needs of our community.
“The Salvation Army has been supporting the Queenstown Community for over 100 years. We have continually adapted our services to provide the best outcomes for those who find themselves in a vulnerable situation. We see this supermarket model as continuing our tradition of serving the community alongside our financial mentoring, counselling and other support services.
“We would like to thank the generous support of our community for helping make this initiative a reality. If anyone wants to get behind what we are doing, they can make a real difference by donating the items we most need through our online platform The Foodbank Project, foodbank.org.nz. It’s quick and easy, and the items donated locally are delivered direct to our foodbank by Countdown.”
Anyone in Queenstown needing help with food, and/or financial or social support, may contact The Salvation Army Community Ministries on 03 442 9661.
For enquiries contact: The Salvation Army Territorial Media Officer, 021 945 337, email: email@example.com (The Media Officer responds to enquiries from media outlets and journalists. If you would like to donate, are in need of help, or have some other non-media-related enquiry, please call 0800 53 00 00.)