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Research by City Mission: Innovative food bank partnerships


EMBARGO: This media release is embargoed until Sunday, 1 December 2013 at 13:00 (1pm).

Frontline research by City Mission paves way for innovative food bank partnerships

Auckland City Mission is fundamentally changing the way in which it operates its food bank services in response to its trailblazing Family 100 research. Aucklanders in desperate need will benefit from food bank partnerships, as well as integrated support services in local communities. The first partnership community food bank opens on Wednesday, 4 December, in Mangere in collaboration with the Manukau Urban Mãori Authority.

Families in South Auckland struggling to put food on the table, will be able to access a new partnership food bank at Ngã Whare Waatea marae in Mangere from next week onwards.

“This initiative is in direct response to preliminary findings by the Mission’s ground-breaking Family 100 research project about the real difficulties families faced when the unexpected happened and people had run out of options,” said Diane Roberts, Auckland City Missioner.

The Family 100 study is conducted in conjunction with Waikato University, Massey University, and the University of Auckland. It aims to increase public awareness of the growing number of New Zealanders affected by issues such as low incomes, unemployment, and lack of food and housing. Another key objective is to better understand the complexity of these families’ lives, and to enable agencies to be more responsive to people’s needs.

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“Feedback from study participants revealed how time-consuming, complex and costly they found the process to access support from the maze of health and social service providers. This prompted us to reflect on how we could improve the situation,” explained Ms Robertson.

She added that the Mission was fundamentally transforming the way in which it operated its food banks, and was pursuing partnerships with other community agencies in Auckland to improve food supply to people, and ensure the efficient use of resources.

The Manukau Urban Mãori Authority (MUMA) is the first agency with which the City Mission is trialling the opening of a community food bank at Ngã Whare Waatea marae as a partnership initiative.

Willie Jackson, Muma CEO, said: “MUMA is very pleased that the food bank is opening at its marae. MUMA is the biggest provider of Whãnau Ora in South Auckland, serving over 600 families. The food bank will undoubtedly complement our Whãnau Ora services. Access to the conveniently located food bank in the centre of Mangere will provide welcome relief for families struggling to make ends meet. Our partnership with the City Mission has great potential, and we look forward to a strong and productive relationship.”

The Mission will provide not only food parcels, but also equipment, expertise, and social work support to each agency. Partner agencies will share a centralised database of clients to eliminate the duplication of services.

The new food bank opens at 11am on 4 December with a põwhiri at the Ngã Whare Waatea marae, 31 Calthorpe Close, Mangere. A waiata group, comprising City Mission clients, will perform at the occasion. Also in attendance will be Diane Robertson and Willie Jackson.


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