Firm gives $16,500 to southern food banks

Helping hand ... Checking food-bank shelves ahead of the busy Christmas season are (from left) Anglican Family Care practice manager Kathy Richards, duty social worker Katie Baumler and Matt Taylor, managing principal for WHK in Otago. Photo by Brenda Harwood
Helping hand ... Checking food-bank shelves ahead of the busy Christmas season are (from left) Anglican Family Care practice manager Kathy Richards, duty social worker Katie Baumler and Matt Taylor, managing principal for WHK in Otago. Photo by Brenda Harwood
An unusual approach to Christmas has allowed southern accountancy firm WHK to donate $16,500 to southern food banks this year.

Among the recipients of WHK's support are Dunedin's Combined Christmas Food Banks, which have been given $4000. In this area, the firm has also given $1000 to the Taieri Community Churches food bank and $1000 to the Milton food bank.

''We have approached Christmas differently for the past few years, which has proved very popular with our clients,'' WHK Otago managing principal Matt Taylor said.

''Instead of sending out Christmas cards and client gifts, we have pooled the money and donated it to the community.''

WHK acknowledged it had been a tough year for many people and, as a company with a strong community focus, it was pleased to be able to help out, Mr Taylor said.

Anglican Family Care practice manager Kathy Richards said, with Combined Christmas Food Banks agencies needing to raise about $15,000 to cover the cost of Christmas food parcels, the WHK donation was very welcome.

''It's great to have this support at what is a difficult time of the year for many people.''

Anglican Family Care duty social worker Katie Baumler said the food bank had seen a 25% increase in demand during November.

''The need out there is enormous.''

The Combined Christmas Food Banks project, which has been running for about 10 years, aims to help struggling families to have an enjoyable Christmas meal and some gifts. The project involves Dunedin agencies Anglican Family Care, Catholic Social Services, Presbyterian Support Otago, the Methodist Mission and St Vincent de Paul, which give out more than 300 Christmas dinner parcels each year. If you are able to give money for the Combined Christmas Food Banks project, the Westpac bank account number for the Christian Helping Agencies Group is 03-0905-0930990-25. If you would like a receipt, please include your name as a reference.

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