Community generosity supports Southland families at Christmas

By PSS | Posted: Monday December 19, 2016

Fifty Christmas food parcels will be heading out of the Family Works door this week on the December 22, and delivered into the homes of Southland families.

It’s an annual Christmas tradition for the organisation, which supports families year round through a range of social services, and it’s one that is well supported by the generosity of the Southland community.

Programme Support for Family Works, Carol Brown, co-ordinates the food parcels every year and says when they first initiated the food parcels years ago, there were only seven staff who would put together 20 parcels.

“We’d do everything – cutting cabbages in half, heaving big loads of food in and out of the building, until I purchased a trolley – and everyone mucked in to get it done,” she said.

As staff grew to more than 50 over the years, there was also an increase in the number of food parcels.

“This year, we are supporting 50 families – it’s a slick operation – and the generosity of the community is just humbling. It doesn’t matter how big or small the business is, what they give us is so appreciated.”

“A number of businesses and organisations have contributed, including Focus Technology, Otago Purchasing, Plaza Supervalue, Sanitarium and Fonterra contribute all of the perishable items like butter, margarine, yoghurt, cheese and milk.”

Richmond Grove and St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church and Invercargill South and North Rotary Clubs provided financial donations and gifts among other items, and very generous individuals in the community had also supported the parcels.

Goodman Fielder donated loaves of bread, Craig’s Poultry gave 50 dozen eggs, Kaan’s donated 50 chickens and Tork supplied tissues, toilet paper, nappies and other similar items.

“It just makes you think wow, what a wonderful community,” Carol said.

“Delivering the parcels is also so humbling. Some people become really emotional.”

“There’s a real need out there, and if by providing a food parcel it means families can give their children a better Christmas, that’s what it’s all about.”

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