From: NZ Herald, 22 May 2023
Donations to a Tauranga food rescue service are down 14,000kg a month and the city foodbank had to shrink food parcels – sometimes going without basics such as potatoes and onions – as its expenses soar by $10,000 a month.
Charities trying to feed people in the city are straining as food prices and demand rise during the cost of living crisis.
An organisation linking people to social agencies says 69 per cent of requests for help are for food. Tauranga Community Foodbank has gained more than 3700 clients and the Ministry of Social Development provided about 10,190 food grants in March in the Bay of Plenty.
Annual food prices increased 12.5 per cent for the year to April 2023, StatsNZ reported this month. Fruit and vegetable prices were the biggest driver, up 22.5 per cent, and grocery food prices increased 14 per cent.
Tauranga charitable organisation Good Neighbour has a food rescue service that collects unsold or donated food from suppliers, including 13 supermarkets, and distributes it among 62 local community organisations regularly, and another nine intermittently.
Manager Simone Gibson said it had seen a drop of about 14,000kg of rescued food per month. For perspective, that’s roughly equal to the weight of two-and-a-half elephants.
She said that meant less to go around for its recipient organisations, which fed about 4700 people each week.
“Increased demand coupled with fewer food donations means more Kiwi families are struggling to put food on the table.”
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