Foodbank demand 'huge'

 Salvation Army volunteer Donna Dunford packs groceries as community ministries manager David...
Salvation Army volunteer Donna Dunford packs groceries as community ministries manager David McKenzie and foodbank co-ordinator Gail Geels look on. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Food has been flying off the shelves of Dunedin foodbanks, in what has been described as one of the busiest holiday seasons in recent years.

Salvation Army Dunedin City Corps community ministries manager David McKenzie said it was his third Christmas in the role of manager, and it was "by far the busiest and most pressurised" he had experienced.

"From Christmas Day onward, it was relatively quiet.

"But there was huge demand in the lead-up to Christmas - much more than previous years.

"My guess is, it's about 15% up on last year."

He believed demand had increased because the public was becoming more aware of the foodbank services provided in the city.

"There was a lot of publicity about the need for foodbanks before Christmas."

Mr McKenzie said three types of support were provided to the community this year.

About 140 Christmas parcels containing food and gifts/toys were provided to families.

"That was on top of the normal foodbank deliveries. There's about 60 of those per week."

The Salvation Army was also involved in administering and contributing to the combined agencies' Christmas Day food hamper and gifts/toys deliveries.

Mr McKenzie said the Salvation Army delivered about 300 hampers, and Presbyterian Support Otago, St Vincent de Paul and other agencies provided similar amounts.

As always, foodbank shelves needed to be continually restocked and any donations would be thankfully received, he said.

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