Food for thought

For The Salvation Army, the logistics required to distribute food and household items to those in need across a vast geographic region, means staff and volunteers have to keep everything moving.

Apr 27, 2021

Whether it is emergency accommodation, early childcare assistance and youth support, help for those with alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions, or providing recycled goods such as clothing and household furniture to those in need,
The Salvation Army helped over 200,000 Kiwis last year.

“Overall, welfare response is what The Salvation Army is known for,” says Rhondda Middleton, Salvation Army Northern Community Ministries Director.

“All of our systems need to unify to make this work, however. With families and individuals between Pukekohe and Kaitaia that look to us for tangible support, the Northern region encompasses a lot of activity. And as a result, we rely on
the goodwill and generosity of a lot of people.”

Rhondda says that, despite the variety of reasons people seek the organisation’s help, there is one common denominator with everybody the Salvation Army’s teams liaise with, a through line that affects us all.
“We all have one thing in common, our need for food to sustain ourselves. And that is why we appreciate the Giltrap Trusts support to assist with food collection and distribution in the community.”

The events of 2020 and the long shadow that COVID-19 has cast, mean that the most vulnerable in New Zealand’s communities remain greatly affected. The need for public donations and support has never been greater.
Thankfully, The Salvation Army’s Foodbank Project exists to help those in need. A self-sustaining online store, The Foodbank Project allows people to donate items online, including food, household cleaning products, baby goods and other grocery items that are exactly what our foodbanks around the country need. “Last year, we delivered more than 62,000 food parcels from the Bombay Hills to the Far North to those in need,” continues Rhondda.

“That’s a lot of food required by a lot of people. Naturally, the logistical challenge of distributing food and other items means our staff and volunteers are very busy. But we are lucky that Kiwis are incredibly generous people, which is heartening.”

In September 2020, with the ramifications of the COVID-19 Lockdowns a very present reality, the Giltrap Trust sought to support organisations working on the frontlines of poverty. “The Salvation Army applied to the Giltrap Trust for support, and we were thrilled to receive a Volkswagen Crafter van to assist with our food collections and distribution,” says Rhondda. The van is in constant use, collecting non-perishable food items and other goods from businesses and individuals and ferrying them to The Salvation Army Mission Support Centre in Auckland. Here they package them into food parcels for sending out to those in the community who request help.

“The generosity of the Giltrap Trust is wonderful. And the idea of donating something as practical as a van is very thoughtful and has really helped our organisation.” “It has air conditioning in the cargo area, which helps keep dairy items cool when we are moving bulk food across town, and a forklift can place a pallet right in the back without any issues too, which speeds up our operation.” “It has been an absolute blessing and we are grateful for the support of organisations such as the Giltrap Trust, along with the many, many individuals who donate goods and their time every day.


The Foodbank Project,
to donate food items, or head to for more information.