Giving back to Gisborne
(this article appeared in the Gisborne Herald - Monday February 17, 2020)
FORESTRY families continue to be hit hard by the financial impact of the coronavirus but East Coast Community Foodbank, supported by Gisborne businesses and the public, is offering full support.
East Coast Community Foodbank spokesman Johnathan Pere said the foodbank had given out 61 food parcels since the announcement of forestry industry workers being laid off, “What is really surprising is that other families in need tell me they would rather have their parcels be given directly to those forestry families.
“The logging community is a priority at this moment, but others who need our assistance, please still contact us.”
East Coast Community Foodbank featured on TVNZ’s I News last night. Mr Pere told the channel the foodbank was busy with food requests from forestry workers. “Not only have their wages been completely halved, their wages have been completely cut,” he said. One forestry worker, on reduced pay and using the foodbank, told TVNZ her whanau had to cancel plans to buy their Housing NZ home. “Yesterday was OK with the pay. Hopefully it’s not too bad next fortnight.”
East Coast Community Foodbank was grateful to all donors, especially “our regular locals who have supported and donated to us before the virus outbreak”, said Mr Pere.
“We recently received a huge boost to our shelves by CPS Civil Project Solutions, who wanted to donate in wake of the logging lay-offs. Two of their staff, Drew Williamson and Simone Grogan, and myself did a big shop at Pak’nSave.
“Other community organisations like Turanganui a Kiwa Activity Centre have given us a huge boost and there has been a recent inquiry of support from Taiki E! Tairawhiti Impact House.