Countdown and The Salvation Army have teamed-up for their Countdown Food Rescue Christmas Appeal, timed to help the growing number of New Zealand families in need for whom the festive season is particularly stressful.
Running until 16 December, this year more than 17,000 Kiwi families needing assistance are expected to turn to The Salvation Army for help in the run up to Christmas.
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 to remain at those same high levels,” says Major Waugh.
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
The Appeal is part of Countdown’s Food Rescue programme that last year donated $3.7 million of food to The Salvation Army, food rescue partners and foodbanks.