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65% Increase In Food Demand Over Christmas

Families are continuing to feel the cost-of-living pinch, reflected in recently released statistics from the Wellington City Mission which show a 65 per cent increase in demand for food, from the weekly average throughout 2023.

By late December, the Wellington City Mission saw a 100 per cent increase from the month prior, in enquiries for people seeking food support. This level of demand has not decreased in January 2024.

“We know that life is not a fair contest and we don’t all start from the same starting line. There are many people in our communities that have challenging backgrounds, are still overcoming obstacles, and are trying to make ends meet,” Wellington City Missioner Murray Edridge said.

“That was certainly apparent over the Christmas period, as we saw a considerable increase in food demand which we know is heightened by the increased cost of rent, and groceries.” Murray Edridge said.

“With that in mind, making Christmas possible for families and giving them dignity in choice was front of mind.

“For those visiting the Social Supermarket, we’ve increased the availability of appointments and we also distributed kai bags to those who were unable to get an appointment.

“Giving parents the precious moment of choosing something special to give to their children is also an incredibly empowering way of making Christmas possible for many families.

“Our free Mission Toy Store was the busiest it’s ever been since it’s opening in 2020, with 3087 children experiencing the joy of opening presents at Christmas time.

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“Food security and ensuring children get the best start in life remain at the very heart of the work we do and the services we deliver at WCM. With the cost-of-living spike and increased rental costs impacting the pockets of many people and families, the services we provide are as important as ever.

February is also a particularly difficult time, being after the Christmas period and back-to-school, the pressure can mount, and we need to continue to be there.” Edridge said.

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