Spreading winter warmth for a third year in a row has benefited Dannevirke's food banks.

A donation of around $2000 worth of groceries has been donated to the foodbanks operated by the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul.

Money for the food came from donations of the winter fuel payment which the Government adds to NZ Superannuation.

In 2018 Alan and Eileen Holmes came up with the idea of donating the extra payment that is made from May 1 to the end of September for heating. This amounts to around $800 a couple.


Since then they have sought donations from others in the community who chose to donate all or part of their fuel payment.

The food was supplied by New World owners Bruce and Kristy Jenkins who say they are happy to support community projects such as this.

For the foodbanks these donations are a huge help.

Salvation Army Corps Officer Major Afolau Toluono said the foodbank was always very grateful for donations.

"Donations are always helpful and enable us to help people in need."

She said the foodbank had been very busy during Covid-19 but it had received a lot of help from Tararua District Council and other groups within the community.

"We are also particularly grateful to Alan and Eileen for organising this huge donation."

St Vincent de Paul Foodbank co-ordinator Bill Young said the donation was a tremendous boost for the foodbank.


"We've had an increase in our requests for food during the Covid-19 lockdown and distributed 72 parcels during that time. What was noticeable was the number of children involved," Young said.

"I would like to say thank you to Alan and Eileen for their work," Young said.

One thing he had noticed this year was that there hadn't been the usual number of requests for firewood.

"We generally have quite a call for firewood but that hasn't happened the same this winter. I think it could be because of the Government's insulation and heat pump programme."