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One In Five New Zealanders Will Rely On Food Assistance This Christmas

Auckland, New Zealand: Anchor has partnered with the New Zealand Food Network for a donation appeal that aims to help feed 15,000 New Zealanders this Christmas – after dire research estimates one in five Kiwis risk going hungry.

The Christmas appeal aims to share the holiday spirit of giving, by encouraging New Zealanders to donate to New Zealand Food Network - a national food charity that will fill and distribute Christmas food hampers to families in need.

Acting as a centralised distribution point that gets food to where it’s needed most, the charity is unique in its far-reaching ability to connect food donors and food hubs – stretching from Invercargill to Kaitaia.

New Zealand Food Network manages the distribution of nutritious food including produce, chilled foods and core groceries, to food hubs (Salvation Army and City Missions, iwi, local food banks, and other food rescue groups) who in turn service more than 650 front-line charities and organisations across the country – from community groups, low-decile schools, Women’s Refuge, transitional housing etc.

In October 2019 half a million New Zealanders were living without reliable, daily access to affordable and nutritious food. As the impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, the New Zealand Food Network estimates that figure may double – placing an unparalleled level of demand on food charities across the country.

KiwiHarvest, one of the New Zealand Food Network recipient food hubs, has seen demand increase 74% between the second quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020 – and is predicting Christmas demand to reach new heights.

Generation Ignite in New Lynn, another food hub recipient, has seen a 146% increase in demand for food parcels since COVID-19 hit.

New Zealand Food Network CEO, Gavin Findlay, commented: “The issue of food poverty in this country is a very real problem – and the onset of COVID-19 has only amplified the issue. According to the Food Security Index, New Zealand is ranked 19th for this issue - behind our traditional allies and trading partners such as United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, United States and Ireland.”

“The New Zealand Food Network was founded with the purpose of delivering nutritious food to charities across the country; however, we are facing an unprecedented challenge with Christmas just around the corner. We hope this appeal with Anchor will resonate with everyday New Zealanders, and together we can help thousands of our fellow Kiwis.”

To help bring the appeal to life, Anchor has reimagined the classic Christmas poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, changing out the fairy-tale narrative for a story that aims to shed light on the issue of food poverty for New Zealanders.

The Christmas poem has been released as an online video with a new set of lyrics and charts the impact that donations – big or small – can make this year. It can be viewed here.

Fonterra Brands New Zealand Marketing Director Mike Boness commented: “Fonterra is one of the founding corporate members of New Zealand Food Network, and our values align with their endeavour to care for all New Zealanders. We hope our reimagination of “Twas the night before Christmas” will encourage everyday Kiwis to support the appeal, as well as shine a spotlight on the issue of food poverty in our own backyard.”

Food hampers created for the appeal will include items to create a delicious, balanced Christmas spread for a family of four, including a ham, fresh vegetables and fruit, Weet-Bix, fresh milk and cream, cheese, custard and cream, and some sweet treats. The hampers will be delivered to charities across the country from December 21st.

New Zealand Food Network’s fellow partners including T&G Fresh, Sanitarium, and Griffins are helping subsidize the cost of these hampers – meaning a $25 donation from the public will help feed a family of four at Christmas, despite the hamper holding more than $110 in retail value.

Donations made by New Zealanders to the appeal will go directly to New Zealand Food Network to help fund the food sourcing, creation, and distribution of its food hampers. Anchor has donated $100,000 retail value in dairy products including milk, cream, custard, cheese and butter to kickstart the appeal and is encouraging fellow New Zealanders to support New Zealand Food Network in its endeavour to feed families across the country.

Since its establishment in May 2020, New Zealand Food Network has already made a significant impact before its first year of operation is complete. In the first three months alone, the New Zealand Food Network distributed 532,000kgs of food to its partnering food hubs – equivalent to 1,520,700 meals delivered to people in need.

Anchor has been proudly New Zealand owned and operated for 134 years and is committed to helping communities across the country prosper. As a quintessentially Kiwi brand, Anchor hopes to bring Kiwis together in the festive spirit of solidarity.

Donations of any denomination to the Anchor and New Zealand Food Network Christmas Appeal can be made at anchor.co.nz/christmasappeal from November 30th.

© Scoop Media

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