For the April to June quarter, the Downtown Community Ministry (DCM) foodbank in Wellington`s Marion Square has provided 164 more food parcels than for the same period last year.
DCM Community Project Worker, David Manuel says, “We have given out 715 food parcels to 238 people in the last three months. This is up from 551 parcels for the same period last year – a massive 30% increase.” “Although we haven`t had a large increase in the number of people wanting foodbank assistance, we`re finding that a lot of the people coming to us need much higher levels of support than previously, and we need to help them for longer to get back on their feet.”
Many of the people who come to the DCM foodbank have used their Work and Income food entitlement of $200 every 6 months, and so have few options but to use the foodbank. David says, “Winter is a hard time for our people because they have to spend more money on keeping warm and so are left without enough money for basic food items”.
DCM has a holistic approach to supporting our service users to address the underlying issues which result in their need for a food parcel. These issues, along with increased food and electricity prices and the slow economic recovery means that more people have to seek support from social agencies. It seems that things are getting harder and harder for low-income earners, with the pressure likely to increase with GST rising on October 1.
“With more pressure on our foodbank, we also need more donations from the community to keep up with increasing demand”, says David.
The foodbank is always in need of basic food items such as tinned fish and breakfast spreads. If you would like to donate food items to DCM, you can contact them on on: 04 384 7699 or emai: [email protected]