Demand for food parcels has soared in Rotorua and social agencies are bracing themselves for another influx in requests in the coming few months.
Rotorua Salvation Army Lieutenant Kylie Overbye said they had been "very blessed" by the number of generous donations from the community and their corporate partners.
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"We've received significant monetary donations from individuals, offers of support from Government agencies, and we also continue to get regular food support from Countdown Food Rescue, The Foodbank Project, Civil Defence and Pak'nSave," she said.
Overbye said thanks to this generosity they had given out at least 209 food parcels since the lockdown began on March 25.
She said this year at least 460 food parcels had been handed out with an estimated value of $46,000.
Overbye said the need for food parcels was growing as the effects of the revenue loss, especially on families, was becoming more apparent.
"People have tried hard to make do on what income they're getting. But as time has gone on they still need to meet their outstanding bills and re-acclimatise to a new, perhaps lower budget, to work to.
"They are not alone in that. We want people to ask for help if they need it,'" she said.
Overbye said a great network of other community groups in Rotorua such as Love Soup also provided food support around the community.
"We encourage anyone who is able to do so to make a cash donation online."
Rotorua Multicultural Council has also been a welcome lifeline for a number of migrants and international students in the district.
Multicultural Council president Dr Margriet Theron said the council's ethnically appropriate food parcels project was kicked off with a $5000 grant from the Ministry of Social Development's Covid-19 response fund.
Theron said the council had the benefit of donations, including $1000 from Rotorua Rotary Club, a $1000 private donation from a migrant and $2500 from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, which was enough to make up 50 food parcels.
She said the council had also redirected its $5000 multicultural events funding from the Rotorua Trust towards the food parcel project.
Theron said the council had in the past four weeks handed out 240 food parcels, 64 per cent to international students studying at Toi Ohomai and the rest to "skilled migrants".
She said many of the students had been working in hospitality and lost their jobs, and some of the skilled migrants also lost jobs or had money struggles too.
"We are delivering 20 to 30 parcels every few days with the help of our great team of eight volunteer drivers working in shifts and thanks to our generous donors.
"This includes a heartwarming call I had from an 84-year-old woman who told me that she could not help physically but she wanted to put some money into our bank account."
Theron said the demand for food parcels was only going to grow.
"This is not going to go away in a hurry and I suspect there are many more out there with similar needs and extra support will be needed for some months to come until people are able to get back on their feet."