Vinnies there to provide extra help
School is well and truly back and so is an increase in help sought through some Vinnie’s foodbanks, services and shops.
The pressure on families already crippled by debt, unemployment and in extreme circumstances homelessness is heavier at this time of year, so report some of our conferences.
As one single father of five explains, “We know back to school is coming up and we know that we should be saving for this but we just can’t. Other families can but there is nothing left for us. We’ve just got over Christmas and the kids home for the holidays. It’s too much.”
Bills arriving from Christmas, and extra debts still to pay mean many families are unable to get their children ready for the start of the school year.
Some foodbanks are seeing unprecedented levels of need, with some struggling to replenish dwindling foodstocks from the demand before the Christmas period.
“The request for food parcels has outstripped our foodbank,” says one conference leader in South Auckland who will have to restock his foodbank to meet this demand.
One volunteer believes that there is enormous pressure on families to overspend at Christmas in order to have the right kind of Christmas.
This pressure along with the increasing cost of getting children ready for school puts even more stress on families who struggle with providing the basics.
Whilst the Vinnie’s shop in Napier has not seen a massive increase in assistance for help, Arthur Schultze, Manager, says, “of those seeking help with food the majority are solo mothers with school-aged children. We have also seen, in the past two to three weeks an increase in people asking if we sell second-hand uniforms.”
The conference will liaise with school principals in the area to identify families who need extra assistance. The families will get help with the appropriate school footwear as well food parcels, if needed.
The Miramar/Seatoun conference offers help with school stationery and uniforms. And many conferences, such as Whangerei and the Young Vinnies in Hawke’s Bay operate a breakfast club as well as providing school lunches during the week, ensuring that students are fed and able to keep up with their learning.
If you would like to donate any quality goods or food for our food banks across the country, your donation would be greatly appreciated. To find out your local Vinnie’s shop or conference, please check our website: http://www.svdp.org.nz/