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Foodbanks Still In Use

NZ Council of Christian Social Services Media Release

Immediate Use

Foodbanks Still In Use But Some Hope For The Poor?

A foodbank study released today shows people using seeking food parcels are on low incomes, have proportionally high housing costs and have little margin to cover basic living costs.

The finding is part of a detailed study on foodbanks under the umbrella of the Poverty Indicator Project (PIP), commissioned by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services.

It showed that the median weekly household income of people using the foodbanks it surveyed ranged from$188 to $314 compared with the New Zealand median of $724.

Major Campbell Roberts, convenor of the project said that surviving on a low income is made more difficult by the cost of housing. “People we are seeing at the foodbanks are paying similar rental costs to average rents but on such a low income there is little left after paying the rent”.

At one foodbank 51% or more respondents were paying greater than half their income on housing costs. “It is difficult for many people out there”, he said. “We need to do more for those in our communities who are struggling – food parcels help – but long term we cannot have people continuing to live below subsistence levels”.

The Council of Christian Social Services has been running the Poverty Indicator Project foodbank study since the end of 2000. The study monitors the quarterly trends in the circumstances of clients at seven foodbanks across the country.


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