Saturday, November 27

Auckland food bank requests double after closure

Auckland City’s mission says its food bank requests for help doubled on the first day of the Level 4 shutdown yesterday, and it’s just as busy today.

Food packages are being prepared at the Auckland City Mission.

Food packages are being prepared at the Auckland City Mission.
Photo: The Chen

It is helping people who sleep with difficulty with food, shelter and medical care, and the town hall catering team has contributed to help prepare food packages for the charity to distribute.

Auckland City Missionary Helen Robinson said her charity’s food bank had seen a sharp increase in demand after the Covid-19 level four shutdown was announced.

“We certainly had a very busy day yesterday, so twice the normal on a Wednesday and I understand that it is also very busy today. Our experience from previous lockdowns is that as the lockdown continues, the demand for food increases,” he said.

He said three teams were also checking the streets to see if any sleepers need food, shelter or medical help, as many feel puzzled and dejected by the closure.

Robinson said the situation was worrying, as many places of interest were in the city center, which was largely where poor sleepers were found.

“I am concerned. We know that the physical and mental health of people living on the streets is significantly compromised … If covid were to reach this community, it would be devastating, so we are doing everything in our power to ensure that as best we can, that doesn’t happen, “he said.

Robinson said the city mission can provide tests, vaccinations and general medical care for those in need.

“We will continue to provide services 365 days a year, even at level 4 lockdown, and we can only do that thanks to the generosity of Auckland. For that, we thank Auckland for their support.”

General Manager of Social Services Auckland City Mission Helen Robinson

Auckland City Missionary Helen Robinson is concerned that the Delta bypass could affect the homeless in Auckland city center.
Photo: RNZ / Amy Williams

The Auckland City Council Catering Services team has been helping to cook and prepare food packages every day during the city mission closure as the charity kitchen is unable to function during level four.

Council spokesman Rob Irvine said there are a variety of foods in the package.

“We make about 250 meals every day and that really includes some really great things, like sandwiches and muffins, as well as some healthy options like a salad and fruit plate,” he said.

“Our staff love it. They feel like they can really contribute. Obviously, with the level, most of our staff will be working remotely at home and therefore they feel like this is a great opportunity for them to come and really help. support a great cause.. “

Meanwhile, Auckland Action Against Poverty charity coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley said some people are unable to buy groceries, pay bills, access the internet or give children an online learning device, and the process for making profit should be simplified.

“All the things that many New Zealanders take for granted is actually a real struggle for people who receive benefits and also for people with low incomes, people who work but with low incomes,” he said.

“We have been asking for benefits to be increased to living income for a long time, and we are also asking that Work and Income manage a high trust model, the same model they used when managing Covid income relief payment of the last year and the wage subsidy. “

Robinson said that several government agencies were supporting his charity, including the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *