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Source: KidsCan

Thousands of children and their families living in poverty in towns and rural communities across New Zealand will soon be receiving emergency food relief packages from KidsCan. The charity usually supplies food to 787 schools and 55 early childhood centres across New Zealand, but with those facilities closed due to Covid-19 it is using alternative measures to get food to those who need it most.

“Many of the children KidsCan supports in more isolated areas are doing it really tough right now,” KidsCan’s CEO Julie Chapman says. “While food banks in main centres have been bolstered with extra government support, we also need to reach vulnerable families who are struggling in rural communities. These food parcels will help them and their children survive this challenging time.”

KidsCan is launching an urgent appeal to raise $500,000 to fund the 3,000 parcels, calling on the public to give just $19 to help stop a family going hungry during Covid-19. The Cookie Time Charitable Trust is kick-starting it with a $19,000 donation.

“Let’s turn Covid-19 around and use the number nineteen to do something good,” Chapman says. “We’re asking Kiwis for just $19 so families in more isolated areas get the support they need too.

“We know times are tough for everyone, but we want people to imagine how scary this is when you live in poverty. These families already lived week to week. Now, many have lost their jobs and they have no buffer. We need to come together so they and their kids don’t go hungry. Any donation, big or small, will make a difference.”

KidsCan is seeing unprecedented demand for help. The charity usually helps feed 34,000 children a day across schools and early childhood centres nationwide.  For term two, schools have ordered food for nearly 42,000 children.

“This huge increase in need comes at a challenging time for all charities,” Chapman says. “Our major fundraising events have been cancelled, leaving us with a revenue shortfall.  But we can’t sit on our hands when we know families are going hungry. We hope Kiwis will get behind us to ensure we can continue to feed the tens of thousands of kids who rely on KidsCan.”

KidsCan is sending packages to families across Northland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, and Manawatū. They have been identified by decile 1 and 2 KidsCan schools as in need of help. The packages will be packed in strict conditions using protective gear at the charity’s warehouse and delivered directly to families’ homes by NOW Couriers.

Each food parcel will provide food and essential items to help support a household of five for two weeks, including 3kg of rice, 3kg of pasta, pasta sauce, bread, heat and eat meals, fruit cups, baked beans, peanut butter, muesli bars, fruit salad, tissues, hand wash – and even Easter eggs.

The packs, weighing around 40kg, have a retail value of more than $200, but through donations and discounts from partners and suppliers – Countdown, Tip Top bread, Cadbury, Dole, Cookie Time, Tasti, Kleenex, and ecostore – KidsCan has been able to provide them for much less.

To donate $19 – or what you can afford – visit www.19for19.co.nz

KidsCan statistics:
KidsCan provides food, raincoats, shoes, socks, and basic health and hygiene items in 787 schools nationwide. Since October 2018, KidsCan has also been supporting preschoolers in 25 early childhood centres in Northland, Auckland and Hawke’s Bay. Every child receives a raincoat, shoes, head lice treatment and five fresh, healthy meals a week. The programme has just been expanded to 32 more centres.

Last year KidsCan provided:
Baked beans, bread, spreads, fruit, yoghurt, supergrain bars and scroggin, fuelling on average 30,000 children a day
More than 424,500 servings of hot meals – including soups, curries and pasta
128,000 loaves of bread
More than 40,000 raincoats and 25,000 pairs of shoes to get children to school warm and dry
More than 45,000 bottles of head lice treatment and 45,000 lice combs
Almost 30,000 boxes of sanitary items – projected to rise to 120,000 this year

MIL OSI New Zealand News