Cambridge-based meal delivery service Emma's Food Bag is getting behind Waikato Women's Refuge Te Whakaruruhau to spread the Christmas spirit this holiday season.
The company is supporting the refuge in a public campaign to gift Christmas Food Bags to Waikato women and children affected by domestic violence.
Local businesses and individuals can get involved by purchasing a Christmas Food Bags at a discounted price of $130, which will then be gifted to a family in one of the refuge safe houses or community.
The Christmas Food Bag, which normally sells for $159, includes items to make a three-course meal for four to six people, which can be used for lunch or dinner. The menu includes a festive antipasto platter, chicken with pomegranate glaze, side dishes and a pavlova with berries.
Emma Sinclair, co-founder of Emma's Food Bag says she is delighted to support her local refuge this holiday season.
"It's really important to us to collaborate with local community organisations, and Waikato Women's Refuge is one local organisation whose work is invaluable. As a community we need to do what we can to support women and children affected by domestic violence," says Sinclair.
Emma's Food Bag was established in 2013 and Sinclair says they aim to keep community impact at the heart of what they do.
During Christmas about 65 women and children live in Waikato Women's Refuge safe houses and many others are transitioning out of safe houses to the community. The refuge's 24/7 crisis line is often busy fielding calls and supporting women and families in need of support during the Christmas and New Year season.
Waikato Women's Refuge CEO Ruahine (Roni) Albert says Christmas is the most difficult time of the year for families in their care.
"There is tremendous pressure on the mums, and the children can feel left out. They come to us with nothing. We do our best to support our whānau with gifts and a good meal," says Albert. "We would appreciate any help from businesses or the community to make a difference to our women and children at Christmas."
Emma's Food Bag is one of three Christmas initiatives that Waikato Women's Refuge has introduced this year, to support affected whānau and raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence, which traditionally spike over the Christmas and New Year period.
Waikato Women's Refuge is also asking for donations which will go towards Christmas gifts for refuge families, including those in safe houses and those who have recently transitioned into the community.
* $20 which will pay for a Christmas gift for a child.
* $130 which will pay for a family Christmas meal pack.
* $450 for a homeware starter pack for women and children moving into new accommodation from the refuge.
To buy a food bag for one of the refuge families or to donate, visit www.waikatowomensrefuge.co.nz/donate