Ration Shed Beach Haven – 027-429-0055 – works closely with Bill Anderson and Dean.
Sadly because Shore people are less GIVING it’s usually Onehunga helping us who can ill afford too.
Onward – Jim http://ration-shed-4-tier-foodbank.blogspot.com
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Foodbank low on deposits and storage
By JANIE SMITH – Central Leader
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2009
Photo: JASON OXENHAM
LOW STOCKS: Poverty Action Coalition co-ordinator Bill Anderson, left, and volunteer Dean Thomas with some of the food parcels to be delivered.
An Onehunga foodbank may be forced to stop operating after a significant drop in food donations.
Poverty Action Coalition co-ordinator Bill Anderson runs the foodbank from his home. He says food stocks haven’t been this low for a long time.
The foodbank had a sponsor, but he died in January, and it doesn’t receive any government funding.
“We have to be inventive to cover the costs. Most of the time they are covered but if they’re not, we have to dig into our own pockets.”
They are also having to get creative about what goes into the boxes they give out to those in need, with less food being donated by factories.
“The factories just don’t have it.”
Mr Anderson says factories would often donate items that might have had irregular packaging or labels, but there are far fewer goods coming in because of the recession.
Volunteer Dean Thomas previously used his van to collect goods for the foodbank. He now uses his car because donations have dropped so much.
He also delivers the food packages but is trying to avoid using his van, which has cost him $4000 in the last three months in repairs.
Mr Anderson’s van has also broken down but he doesn’t have the money needed to fix it, so it’s off the road.
Even if he had the money, it would go into the foodbank rather than the vehicle, he says.
“All the money I get above basic living costs goes straight into the foodbank, otherwise it will die out. It’s sad considering it’s been going for 22 years.”
Mr Thomas says there are still a lot of people who need the foodbank’s assistance.
“It’s heartbreaking not being able to help all those people. It makes you so frustrated in one sense, but what else can you do?”
People receiving food parcels are limited to three per year but the foodbank is still distributing up to 27 boxes of food a week.
Volunteer Pam Moresby says items that are needed the most include long life milk, toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, pet food, cereals, margarine, tinned goods and fresh fruit and vegetables.
“We get bread but we need something to put on it.”
Tea, coffee and rice are also welcome.
“Most people have a can in the cupboard they’ve forgotten about,” says Mr Anderson.
He says when he starts having to use food from his personal cupboards, he knows the foodbank is in trouble.
The coalition might also need to find more free storage for the food, because it could have to start paying for the container where it is kept, and can’t afford it.
Ms Moresby says the storage can’t be a personal garage and would need to be somewhere where burglars could be kept out.
Anyone able to offer food donations or storage can contact Mr Anderson on 622-0604.
Because the North Shore has been slow to support the efforts of the Beach Haven based Ration Shed working with Mr Anderson his efforts are needed to meet the North Shores growing needs.
Onward – Jim
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