Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal: How Covid has changed the game

Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal: How Covid has changed the game

The Tauranga Community Foodbank is bracing itself for even higher demand as the new Covid-19 traffic light system starts, with fears that it won’t have enough to serve the community’s needs.

The Foodbank has received 2,343 items from donors and $18,759 in cash donations since the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal started on November 13.
A total of 267 food parcels have been given out.

The foodbank’s general manager Nicki Goodwin said donations were on a par with last year’s appeal.

Many donors have been choosing items off the foodbank’s wishlist, including cereal, personal care items and treats, she said.

But Goodwin was concerned that difficulties around Covid-19 traffic light system restrictions and job losses will see demand rise even higher.

This would mean the same number of donations as last year wouldn’t be enough to serve the needs of the community, she said.

Goodwin said the foodbank would normally have collected a lot of donations from community functions, but these have had to be cancelled because of restrictions.

Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal: How Covid has changed the game

General manager Nicki Goodwin and warehouse manager Jordy Gastmeier. Photo / George Novak

As of Tuesday , the foodbank was helping Toi Te Ora Public Health by providing food parcels to people in isolation or waiting on Covid test results and needed food.

“We are taking things day by day at the moment and will work closely with Toi Te Ora and another service called Here to Help U to manage the situation.”

Here to Help U was a website that allows people to submit requests for help from community service organisations.

Goodwin said the help the foodbank was providing will be a further strain on their resources.

“It will certainly put extra pressure on an already busy time of the year.”

She said cash donations were more vital than ever, so that the foodbank can make sure it gets exactly the supplies it needs.

Despite the struggles, Goodwin said one man’s touching donation brought her warehouse manager to tears.

She said a man arrived at the foodbank on Sunday to donate a box of chocolates. He said his family had received help from the foodbank when he was a child, and he had been stoked to find there was chocolate included.

He wanted to make sure that a child had that same experience.

Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal: How Covid has changed the game

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