Requests for food parcels in Waitomo, Waipā and Ōtorohanga are putting pressure on local food banks – but help is at hand.
Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre controller David Simes says people who are unable to pay for grocery items can still contact their local food banks for assistance.
Demand is expected to double in coming days with financial pressures already hitting those most vulnerable in the community.
“The Te Kuiti Food Bank alone already has 50 pre-ordered food parcels. Thankfully, local community groups have responded quickly with generous donations of funding to help increase supply,” said Simes.
The Te Kuiti Food Bank has two teams running, including one in isolation. They are set up with strict quarantine measures in place, and food parcels are placed outside in a secure area to enable social distancing.
“Food banks can access additional funding through the government assistance programmes as part of the COVID-19 response by contacting Civil Defence,” Simes said.
The Te Awamutu Food Bank is one local food bank currently under pressure who will be accessing further government funding during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Otorohanga Food Bank currently has sufficient food to supply current demand for up to three weeks with packs made up individually based on each person or family.
Local Food Bank coordinator, Debra Hill, said she was ‘anticipating an increase in need so we have already applied for funding assistance so we can continue to meet demand’.
If you are in need of food assistance please CALL your local foodbank first to find out the information regarding their social contact policies during this time. If you are feeling unwell or showing any sign of the symptoms such as a high fever, cough, shortness of breath please DO NOT turn up at the foodbank.
Ōtorohanga Food Bank