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Bleak Christmas for thousands of families.

 MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

— Wellington, Friday, 27 November 2009

Recession fallout means bleak Christmas for thousands of families.

Continuing deterioration in the living situations of thousands of New Zealand families means The Salvation Army is looking to raise $1.2 million before Christmas.

The Salvation Army is launching its Christmas Appeal in the face of a 40 per cent increase in the number of families receiving emergency food aid.

In the six months to September, more than 40 families a week, not previously seen by The Salvation Army, have been seeking food parcels.

Salvation Army spokesman Major Robbie Ross says: “With so many thousands of families struggling to feed their children, it’s clear Christmas will be a particularly daunting prospect for many parents.

“Our concerns are not only for these families' material needs, but for the emotional stress they face daily, and particularly as we approach the festive season. Our mission is not only to meet immediate need but to provide long-term support.”

In the year to 30 September, Salvation Army Community Ministries welfare centres distributed 44,000 food parcels to 23,820 households – respective growth rates during the year of 44.5 and 40 per cent. In addition, Salvation Army churches provided another 2600 food parcels.

The Salvation Army hopes to raise $1.2 million over the next few weeks through its Christmas Appeal and money raised from the Christmas CD It’s a Wrap. Money raised will go to Salvation Army front line welfare services across the country.

Issued on the Authority of Commissioner Donald Bell (Territorial Commander)
The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory

ends

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