With Advent around the corner, Auckland City Missioner Helen Robinson reports that Mission staff are extremely worried they won’t be able to provide up to 9,000 boxes of food, and tens of thousands of presents for families who’d otherwise go without this festive season.
Right now, Auckland City Mission is already meeting a very high demand for food parcels, which has more than quadrupled since before COVID-19 reached Aotearoa’s shores.
Latest figures released by the Mission show that, along with their partners, they are now giving out over 1,600 food parcels a week - up from an average of 450 in pre-Covid times. Between 18 August - 5 November, a total of 20,779 food parcels were distributed, feeding more than 82,000 people.
Missioner Helen Robinson is expecting increased need to kick in again this summer, after three months of Covid restrictions in Tāmaki Makaurau.
“We are currently supporting more people and families than we ever have before. We know that will translate to more families than ever before relying on us to provide some joy this Christmas.”
“Not only are more people struggling, but the lockdown means that people who usually collect food and gifts to help haven’t been able to do that.
“We will find a way, but we are once again asking generous givers to help us, to help those families in the city who would otherwise go without - because everybody deserves a Christmas Day.”
Last year the Mission gave out 30,000 gifts and 9,000 Christmas food parcels to people who would otherwise have faced a bleak Christmas.
Another way to get involved is the Mission's Angels scheme which offers ways that groups, workplaces and families can get together to help either online or in person.