Foodbank in demand

Demand for food parcels has risen strongly at the Mosgiel Community Foodbank this year, as rising living costs and recent job losses make an impact.

Foodbank co-ordinator Michelle Kerr said the foodbank provided 500 food parcels last year, an average of 41 parcels a month.

''On average this year it's 55.''

The 34% increase in demand was ''due to economic pressure''.

The foodbank was seeing more working families and pensioners facing higher living costs, bigger power bills and higher interest rates.

Times were tough for some families, even with both parents working.

Recent job losses in the Mosgiel area, including at Southern Cross Forest Products, had also added to pressure on families.

And for some people, their benefits were not keeping up with the rising cost of living.

Some people were already under financial stress, and came into the foodbank after those pressures unexpectedly increased.

''Sometimes you do have a large bill that comes in that you hadn't expected.''

Some people also found it ''very daunting'' to use a foodbank, and perhaps found it challenging to admit that they needed further help.

''Everybody is welcome to come through the door. It doesn't matter if they both have a job,'' Mrs Kerr said.

The foodbank was supported by church groups through the Taieri Christian Care Trust, other organisations and schools.

''We never run out. We can't have enough praise for our community.''


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