Goodwill lifts struggling Masterton mum

By Cherie Taylor

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DONATION: Food parcels and support are rolling in for a Masterton woman who has been stealing food to feed her family.PHOTO/SUPPLIED
DONATION: Food parcels and support are rolling in for a Masterton woman who has been stealing food to feed her family.PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The Masterton mother who has been stealing food to feed her children has had her faith in humanity restored.

The mother of three was seen by the reporter stealing food from a supermarket dumpster recently and shared her plight - she is left with only $45 weekly to feed her children once the bills are paid.

Since her story ran in the Times-Age on Saturday, the newspaper has received many offers of help for her and dozens of messages have been left on its Facebook page regarding her situation.

Emails from far afield as Canterbury and Australia with offers of support and food have rolled in.

Richard Morgan from North Canterbury loaded the story on his Facebook page asking for help for the woman with Carterton's Superior Meats offering a meat pack.

In his email to Times-Age he said he was both shocked and moved by the woman's plight.

"It is seriously wrong when the world has reached a stage where Winz uses red tape as an excuse to let children go hungry," he said.

A local small business owner called Lisa wants to deliver a Christmas hamper to the family.

"It has been a tough few years keeping our head above water ... I want to help this family have Christmas."

Gladstone's Belinda Ware said she'd love to mentor the family.

Another email, from former Kiwi Chris Wingate, who lives in Australia, said he would be willing to put money into a supermarket account to help the needy.

Meaanwhile, the woman at the centre of the offers, who doesn't wish to be identified, wept when she heard of the offers but her parents from Flaxmere, who recognised her story from the article, arrived on her doorstep yesterday morning with a car-load of groceries and money.

She hopes the offers of help can be used to help others in her situation.

"This is just so overwhelming. I didn't know people cared so much. They have restored my faith in human nature. I felt so alone before but now I know people really do care what is going on. This is so special ... I am so grateful but I don't need it now thanks to my parents. I hope it can go to others. The best thing about all this is that people now know just how hard it is for people and are willing to help," she said.

Her father, who only wished be known as Bill, said his wife recognised their daughter's story and they were shocked to find she was struggling so much.

They turned up yesterday with a boot-load of groceries.

"She never said a word. She can't afford to be ashamed. We are here for her. We will make sure they are okay."

As for others in the same situation - the Government needed to do something to help, he said.

"This Government has let our people down. We need to rally and demand something be done because we have got kids starving and living in poverty. It's the kids. The Government has abandoned our kids."

Wairarapa Advocacy Service co-ordinator Trevor MacKiewicz said two food parcels had been left on his door step in recent days to help struggling families.

It was great to see the community rallying to help, he said.

"We have to thank them for their support. It's great people are wanting to help people out."

He also stated the Government needs to help more.

"People just don't have enough money for food. The Government should be out there helping out."

Mr MacKiewicz is willing to co-ordinate any further offers of help. Call (06) 377 2525.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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