New food programme to help older community

File photo.

When a debilitating injury turned 77-year-old Carol’s* world upside down, her limited mobility made simple everyday tasks a difficult and painful challenge.

The weekly food shop and daily meal prep were just some of these challenges. But when Carol learned that she could access support direct to her door during this tough time, she was relieved to ask for help.

This help comes in the form of Super Support – a collaborative service that provides Tauranga’s older community with free nutritious pre-cooked meals, food supplies and wrap-around support.

Since the launch of the programme, more than 800 people aged 65 and over have accessed the support.

For Carol, the service was a huge help when she needed it most.

“I live alone and recently had to give up my part-time job due to the pain. My whole life just stopped to be honest – I don’t have the energy or motivation to go anywhere,” says Carol.

She says that opening her door to two smiling volunteers delivering food supplies was like 'winning a little lotto ticket'.

“It made me feel like a new person. I’ve never really asked for help before, so to open my door to these lovely people who were so uplifting, I was extremely grateful.”

Paula Naude, Tauranga City Council’s Manager: Community Development & Emergency Management, says Super Support was first piloted in July 2023 to help older people who were struggling to afford or access food.

“Times are tough right now for so many in our community, especially for Superannuants who are living on a limited income, have accessibility needs or health issues, and are going without the essentials in life,” says Paula.

“With the support of our partners, we hope to make the programme permanent so our community can continue to get the help they need, when they need it.”

Super Support is a collaboration between Tauranga City Council, Age Concern Tauranga, Tauranga Community Foodbank, Good Neighbour, Bay Financial Mentors and Here to Help U.

The latest Vital Update research shows that more than 21 per cent of older people who responded live alone, which can lead to increased vulnerability and isolation.  

Tanya Smith, Age Concern Tauranga General Manager, says Carol’s situation isn’t unique.

“Older people across the country are reaching out more often for support with food, budget advice and other similar services as the cost-of-living rises, and we are seeing this trend in Tauranga too,” she says.   

*Carol's name has been changed to protect her privacy. 

How to access Super Support:


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