Spreading the Christmas cheer
Christmas is fast approaching and two Gisborne agencies want to spread the festive spirit among struggling families/whanau, with Christmas hampers.
Gizzy Kai Rescue and SuperGrans Tairawhiti Trust have joined an initiative through New Zealand Food Network (NZFN) and their Christmas Appeal which aims to deliver Chistmas hampers to 15,000 New Zealanders nationwide.
The two Gisborne agencies hope to be able to distribute 58 hampers each with SuperGrans aiming to distribute 29 of theirs within Ruatoria.
The hampers, valued at $100, present a delicious, balanced Christmas spread for a family of four, including a ham, fresh vegetables and fruit, Weet-Bix, fresh milk and cream, cheese, custard and some sweet treats.
NZFN has produced the hampers with support from Anchor and other partners who have donated products.
An Anchor spokesperson said research had estimated one in five New Zealanders risked going hungry during the Christmas period.
For every $25 raised, a recipient family will receive a $100 hamper.
The Christmas Appeal has currently raised enough funds for 4961 hampers.
Donations can be made on the NZFN website.
SuperGrans Tairawhiti Trust general manager Linda Coulston said she absolutely hoped the Gisborne public would support the Christmas Appeal.
The number of families who were struggling had definitely increased this year, she said.
Gizzy Kai Rescue manager Lauren Beattie asked the public to support the appeal.
“It's been a pretty tough year for many with Covid-19,” she said.
“Foodbanks and community groups are assisting people who have never sought help before.
“Our community struggles at times and Covid-19 has added another layer.”
Gizzy Kai Rescue operates as a conduit between food growers, producers and vendors, collecting food that would have been thrown away, and using local community groups who redistribute the rescued food to those in need.
Community groups such as SuperGrans Tairawhiti Trust did their job “so well”.
“They are best placed to know where the need is,” said Ms Beattie.
Ms Coulston said SuperGrans had a collaborative relationship with Gizzy Kai Food Rescue.
The roles of SuperGrans Tairawhiti Trust include providing community cooking lessons and helping to develop skills to deal with the “complexities of life”.
Their koha shed stores basic household goods, such as furniture and clothing, needed by all families.
Strong community support enabled them to provide more than 200 gifts to needy families.
Only yesterday, accounting firm BDO delivered a large shipment of donated food and other grocery-type goods.
“They are definitely a company with a social conscience,” said Ms Coulston.