The Otūmoetai and Tokoroa social supermarkets are ready for their first Christmas of providing food support.
The social supermarkets opened in November and August respectively Theis a partnership between Linkt Community Trust and Foodstuffs North Island, and the Tokoroa supermarket is in partnership with Buttabean Motivation.
Social supermarkets enable people who are experiencing food insecurity to choose what they need for themselves in a supermarket-style environment – rather than collecting a pre-filled food parcel, that might not meet their specific dietary, cultural or personal needs.
Linkt Community Trust Manager, John Paine says having access to a social supermarket will provide a sense of relief for many whānau across the community this Christmas.
“Many whānau are struggling to make ends meet and the added pressure of Christmas expectations make it a stressful time. This Christmas we’re helping families make their resources go further. Providing support with groceries has a knock-on effect as it eases the pressure that comes from other bills like power and rent and helps offset the costs of other unexpected expenses. It also just brings a bit of aroha and joy after a challenging year and enables families to come together for a special meal during the festive season.”
To help celebrate their first Christmas, the teams at Otūmoetai and Tokoroa Social Supermarkets have added a set of shelves offering a selection of family focused Christmas gifts, such as swing ball sets, Nerf toys and other games. Shoppers can spend some family time together wrapping the gifts they select.
Paine says: “We had one teenager wrap a gift and then proudly exclaim ‘this can be my gift to the family’ before going away beaming. It’s not just about Christmas gifts though, we’ve had several families use our service to save the money needed to pay for their children to attend end of year school camps. Being able to send your kids on the school camp helps parents maintain a sense of dignity and enables kids to have a full education and make lifelong memories. I’m proud we’re helping provide a bit of hope and joy to the local community.”
Foodstuffs North Island are wanting to take some of the festive stress off the shoulders of whānau this year to make the big day more enjoyable. In the spirit of Christmas, the Foodstuffs team have partnered with Pams and Farmland to put together hampers full of Christmas goodies for distribution at both Social Supermarkets. Each hamper will contain the ingredients and recipe cards to make some delicious and nutritious kiwi classic Christmas dishes such as glazed ham, potato salad, seafood salad and pavlova.
Foodstuffs have recently announced plans to roll out its social supermarket initiative to more communities in the year ahead.
Otūmoetai Social Supermarket relies on community support and welcomes donations in the form of funds, food or games and can be contacted at email@example.com. The Tokoroa branch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.