Brand new chiller doors open for donated food

By Laurel Stowell,

Wanganui gardens are dripping with plums and runner beans and the city's Foodbank has a new chiller to store them.

Christian Social Services Wanganui (CSSW) administrator Janice Jones said the $3400 chiller had been installed since November. When the Chronicle visited it contained only a whole lot of green and purple runner beans and two large courgettes.

She wants more food to store, for distribution to the needy. The Foodbank will take almost anything - including meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables. People who ask for food parcels hardly ever get meat, because it is so expensive.

The only things the Foodbank will not distribute are old, rusty tins that are about to burst.

"We don't generally discard much," Mrs Jones said.

Foodbank staff have wanted a chiller for years, and vegetables like silverbeet will now keep better. The chiller could also store bread, although most of that is frozen or given away while it is still fresh.

"We have people who come in nearly every day to see if we've got any bread."

Veges come in from CSSW's own two city gardens, private gardens and occasionally from the Whanganui Prison gardens.

The combined Foodbank and CSSW office is at the back of the Trinity Methodist Church in Wicksteed St, and has been subjected to a stream of vandalism.

The glass in its barred windows was broken during Wellington Anniversary weekend. Staff were too busy cleaning up the mess to make up food parcels the next day. The day after that another window, boarded up temporarily, was broken through.

Staff are a bit shocked by it all.

"For months now we have been wondering how many windows will be broken today."

Police have been twice recently, and got fingerprints.

It's possible that young or homeless people are using the area. Mrs Jones said they once found a nearby clothing bin wrenched open, and evidence that someone had slept in it. People who wanted food did not need to steal it, she said, because they could ask for it.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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