Charity turns its focus to making meals

Baskets of Blessing volunteer Sarah Johnstone preapres meals pre-lockdown. Photo: supplied
Baskets of Blessing volunteer Sarah Johnstone preapres meals pre-lockdown. Photo: supplied
A Wakatipu charity has been cooking up a storm during the national Covid-19 lockdown.

Baskets of Blessing has suspended its usual gift operation to focus on meals.

Dedicated Baskets of Blessing volunteer Ang Gibson is an integral part of the team. Photo:...
Dedicated Baskets of Blessing volunteer Ang Gibson is an integral part of the team. Photo: supplied
Meals co-ordinator Lee Nicolson said the increasing number of families in the Queenstown region requiring community support had been alarming.

‘‘Consequently, we have been focusing and maximising our resources towards turning the sudden prolific surplus food supplies into nutritious frozen home-cooked meals,’’ Mrs Nicolson said.

‘‘As a local Queenstown organisation that prepares ingredients and cooks meals for handing out free-of-charge, we have become a primary avenue for the excessive influx of fresh fruit and vegetable produce, due to the sudden closure of restaurants and commercial catering outlets.’’

The meals had been prepared by a team of volunteers which includes out-of-work chefs and people cooking in their homes.

The Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church was a key supporter of the meals and had been using its St John’s Arrowtown building as a base.

St John’s minister Carlton Johnstone said the meals were an expression of care from the community that could relieve a little bit of stress and pressure.

‘‘We know communities flourish when we look after our most vulnerable,’’ Mr Johnstone said.

‘‘That’s when we see a really healthy community, when they’re caring for others that are struggling and in need.’’

‘‘When you look at Jesus’ life he was always taking a lot of time, concern and emphasis for those on the margins.’’

 

A significant part of Jesus’ ministry was centred around food and hospitality, he said.

‘‘Certainly from our end, from the churches’ perspective, that’s kind of some of our underlying values that certainly drives some of what we do.’’

hugh.collins@odt.co.nz

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