Saturday, June 15, 2024

Foodstuffs backs new self-serve foodbank

New Zealand’s Christchurch City Mission, with support from Foodstuffs South Island, has launched the South Island’s first self-serve foodbank.

The new-style foodbank will operate from the Christchurch City Mission’s new Foodbank building and warehouse at 275 Hereford Street. It will offer the Mission’s traditional food parcel collection service, as well as a new self-serve Foodbank operation, which is intended to increase the dignity and mana of receiving food support.

In the self-serve operation, City Mission clients will be able to create their own food parcels using trolleys and selecting food from shelves, just as they would in a supermarket, replacing the need to queue for a pre-filled box of food.

City Missioner Corinne Haines says being able to personally choose food would be “mana-enhancing” for the Mission’s clients.

“Being able to choose their own food allows them to be supplied with food they are more likely to use and enjoy,” she says.

Under the new self-serve approach, clients will receive the usual assessment by City Mission staff, before being allocated points based on how many people there are in the family being fed. They will then be able to shop with a trolley, selecting food and spending their points. It’s also planned that staff and volunteers will offer food education guidance while the clients shop.

Foodstuffs South Island Chief Executive Mary Devine says through actively supporting Christchurch City Mission’s new self-serve foodbank, Foodstuffs is helping provide dignified food support and hoping to make a real difference.

“We’re a 100% NZ owned co-operative, and our stores and teams serve nearly every community in the South Island,” she says. “It’s important we do our bit, especially when budgets are being stretched like never before.

“We are very interested to see how this new self-serve approach is received by the City Mission community.”

Foodstuffs South Island’s support centre and store teams have shared their retail expertise to lay out and set up the new foodbank, donating equipment, providing training, and working with supply partners to source free or discounted racking, shelving, trolleys and product.

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