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Real Journeys Milford Sound Picnic Lunch Snacks Boost Food Bank Supplies

Thousands of snacks destined for Real Journeys international and domestic visitors in Milford Sound are now helping fill much-needed food parcels at the Queenstown Salvation Army food bank.

Real Journeys Area Manager Jason Steele drove the snacks up by truck the 290km from Milford Sound yesterday afternoon. “During our peak season we keep a good supply for our picnic lunches. But this year with the closure of the Milford Road followed by the closure of our borders, we were left with stock that will expire in a couple of months. Where better to bring it than Queenstown which has been so hard hit by what’s happening in tourism,” says Steele.

Salvation Army Queenstown Director of Community Ministries Lieutenant Andrew Wilson could not agree more. After seeing a 600% increase in requests for help since the lockdown began, it’s getting harder to fill the food parcels. “Initially it was largely foreign nationals needing help what we’re seeing now is more New Zealand residents. We’re putting together 20 – 30 food parcels every day (Monday to Saturday) as well as additional emergency food packs and we’re now needing to ensure that our food parcels go to the highest needs first,” says Wilson.

Worth around $15,000, the bulk of the Real Journeys delivery consisted of over 14,000 Crafty Weka Bars and 50 cases of gluten free Molly Biscuits, along with a dozen 1kg tubs of pesto, 175 kilos of apples and 84 kilos of oranges.

“It’s so good to receive healthy things like nutritious muesli bars and fruit we can use. Fruit’s really hard for us because we have to ensure it’s been stored correctly and this has been stored under a commercial food control programme which is perfect,” says Wilson.

Wayfare Acting Chief Executive Ian Jackson says with no visitors, all Wayfare companies are carefully evaluating what stock they need as part of their preparations for tourism in Alert Level 2. “This is the kind of community initiative Real Journeys is renowned for and our teams will be pleased to know these supplies have gone to a good home. Many of our visitors to Milford Sound arrive via Queenstown so it’s very fitting.”

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