City foodbank well stocked

Southland Foodbank Trustee Peter Swain is touched by the generosity of Invercargill people after they donated 11.7 tonnes of non-perishable food during its annual Christmas drive last Thursday evening.

TONNES of food flooded into the Southland Foodbank during its annual Christmas drive last Thursday.

Southland Foodbank trustee Peter Swain said he expected the 11.7 tonnes of non-perishable food would stock the shelves until the latter part of 2022.

“It’s one of the best food drives we’ve had.”

Despite it nearing Christmas, the foodbank was not expecting a seasonal surge in demand for its assistance.

However, he believed are feeling the pinch a little bitbills at this time of the year.

He believed increased housing costs had also impacted the number of people requiring assistance.

The organisation would do their best to help all those who came to them for help, as long as they went through the right channels to access the service.

Invercargill woman Jessica Hillman said she and her daughter usually supported the foodbank drive with a couple of items. However, they had been planning for this year’s event since December 2020.

“After last year’s collection, me and Abigail had a talk and it hit us, there were families that weren’t able to have the type of Christmas we can have.”

So they challenged themselves to give more this year than in the past by buying an additional item with their groceries and putting it aside for the Christmas collection.

“We work on a pretty tight budget, as a single mum on a part-time income. So if we had a couple of dollars left over to spend, it would buy a packet of pasta or, if there was extra, we could get a couple of things.

“It doesn’t take much effort to make a big impact.

“It makes you feel grateful for what you have and you are able to give and bless other people.”

Ms Hillman wanted to raise her daughter to value generosity and to think of other people.

The pair felt they had good support networks around them and this was their way of paying forward what they themselves had received from others.

“I wish I could do more, but we do the best with what we havesomething. If everyone does something, it will make such a huge difference. Imagine if everyone in the city just put out two to three items, how much they [the food bank] would get.”

She hoped to be able to inspire others to adopt the same strategy for the 2022 collection.