A donation to the Tauranga Community Foodbank has come at the right time with demand for food parcels increasing.
Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin says since August the foodbank has seen a 45 percent increase in demand.
They are currently giving out 150 food parcels a week.
“We normally see an increase in demand around this time of the year, but this is in comparison to the same time last year.
She attributes the increase in demand to the high cost of rent and housing in Tauranga.
“It is housing, so we're helping lots more people that we've never met before. Lots more people who do work.
“What we're hearing from the budget services is there's a permanent deficit for people and there's nothing you can do about it.
“We've seen a big increase in single people, because they carry the whole burden of the costs and they miss out on a lot of the assistance that you get if you're a family.”
Nicki says there is a high demand for their services in December but it is even more in January.
“We always see an increase now, but actually January is busier than December.
“The reason for that is kids are at home so any support that families are receiving through schools with food is gone. It stops and a lot of people's income stops because they need to be home caring for family.”
The Tauranga City Sunrise Lions have donated $1000 to the foodbank.
Nicki says the donation enables them to plan ahead.
“We know that there's another thousand dollars in the bank for food, for the staple food items.
“When we make a food parcel it needs to be useful, it needs to contain items that people can use and make meals with, so if those items aren't donated, we buy them.”
Sunrise Lions membership chairman, Ken Evans, says they support the foodbank because the charity fits in with the Lions philosophy of ‘We Serve’.
“We're serving the community by helping the foodbank. It's something we've done for years, and we do it every year around this time.”
The club’s 18 members have worked all year sourcing and selling firewood to raise money for the charities they support.
The majority of the firewood comes from trees that have been felled by Tauranga Tree Services.
Once the trees are felled the Lions members go out and collect the wood, so the wood is at no cost to them and they are able to fundraise more.
“The lovely thing is the tree services have realised that we help them by getting rid of a product that they would have to pay to dump and we turn it into money and it goes to the community,” Ken says.
Nicky says organisations play a vital role in ensuring the foodbank is able to help those in need.
“It's a little bit of reassurance that we know these groups are willing to support us because they are really the backbone of the community.
“On an emotional level it's lovely because they are really sound community based organisation.
“The fact that they see that reflected in us and they want to share the money they've worked hard to fundraise with our charity is great.”
Foodbank has launched a giving programme “What’s for Tea?” where people can donate regularly of give a one off amount.
“A message I always try and get out there is, don't ever think you're one can donation or your few dollars donation isn't going to make a difference because it does.
“Whether it's $5 or $1,000, it all makes a difference.”
To find out more about the giving programme visit the website.