Providing relief for families
Receiving one of our food parcels is often the first step in someone's journey, by bravely asking for help. It is a gateway to support some families that are coping with hardship, mental stress and financial pressures. But the food parcel does not solve the problem. Getting to the heart of the cause, then setting a plan is what helps people turn a corner—we do this together.
The Salvation Army has frequently, during its history sought to disrupt the norm, make a difference in a sustainable way and give people fullness within their lives. The Salvation Army is actively supporting people and their communities to be independent and find a new way forward, like the recently-launched Kiwi Kai Co-Op in Auckland.
Kiwi Kai Co-Op gives low-income families access to options, based on three principles of bulk purchases, plant for life and Pātaka (community pantry). It is about the members/co-owners drawing on the collective strength of a group to improve food security for its members through sharing their resources, talents, skills, time and knowledge. Models like these will help bring about food security and offer a more sustainable way of living, making people independent and giving them a path to help themselves.
Daily, we see distress from those needing immediate assistance. The foodbanks and hubs are an immediate solution, but we recognise there are alternative ways to help. A long-term ideal could be for social supermarkets and other ways of supporting those who experience food insecurity. The reality is that food insecurity is becoming a more noticeable everyday struggle for more people. Thankfully we have people like you supporting these vital services so we will still be there with that initial food parcel that brings relief, and the opportunities to move forward.
A statistical snapshot of our food security support in 2021:
- 88,000 food parcels distributed.
- 70 centres provided food parcels or vouchers.
- 32.5% of clients referred to other services.
Real Life Impact:
Weekly support and encouragement with weekly food parcels for Steven and his family was needed until they could manage on their own. The volunteers' encouragement at the drop-in centre—talking through the weight of the financial burden of debt and the feelings associated with this, showing interest in them as a family and cheering them on—has seen them make changes and become independent of needing our services. They no longer require weekly food parcels and Steven now sees their future as manageable—and he is even optimistic about returning to work soon. They are enjoying some financial freedom for the first time in years and his weekly visits to catch up with us are now as an outing to get out of the house with his toddler.