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Foodbanks to benefit from thousands of reallocated business funds

Connect Legal has donated money to local foodbanks. Pictured is the Connect Legal team Scott Grieve, Stephanie George, Charles Wilkinson with New Plymouth Community Foodbank’s Sharon Wills and Waitara Pātaka Kai/Foodbank’s Amy Olsen.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

Connect Legal has donated money to local foodbanks. Pictured is the Connect Legal team Scott Grieve, Stephanie George, Charles Wilkinson with New Plymouth Community Foodbank’s Sharon Wills and Waitara Pātaka Kai/Foodbank’s Amy Olsen.

With Covid sinking this year’s charity food drives, Taranaki businesses are helping to fill pantries by reallocating parts of their annual budget – and they are encouraging others to follow suit.

Law firm Connect Legal has scrapped the “hundreds” of Christmas gifts it would usually give to clients in favour of using those funds to donate $5000 to local foodbanks.

Director Charles Wilkinson said the money would be shared between Waitara Pātaka Kai/Foodbank and New Plymouth Community Foodbank.

On the back of a “tough year for everybody”, Wilkinson said it was a no-brainer to give the funds to a worthier cause.

READ MORE:
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Annual food collections for many of the region’s foodbanks were canned this year due to Covid concerns and the charities instead called on people to drop off donations.

Without the drives to help boost collections, Wilkinson wanted to help.

“They’re very deserving, they do such great work.”

He said it was “a stellar” year to be able to give and encouraged other businesses to do the same.

Broadband provider Primo has also donated thousands to local foodbanks.

L-R Connect Legal team Stephanie George, Scott Grieve, Charles Wilkinson with NP Food Bank Manager Sharon Wills and Waitara Food Bank Manager Amy Olsen. Director Charles Wilkinson said the money would be shared between Waitara Pātaka Kai/Foodbank and New Plymouth Community Foodbank.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

L-R Connect Legal team Stephanie George, Scott Grieve, Charles Wilkinson with NP Food Bank Manager Sharon Wills and Waitara Food Bank Manager Amy Olsen. Director Charles Wilkinson said the money would be shared between Waitara Pātaka Kai/Foodbank and New Plymouth Community Foodbank.

After this year’s TSB Festival of Lights was cancelled, Primo divided up its returned sponsorship money for the event and has given nearly $3900 each to the New Plymouth, Waitara and Stratford foodbanks.

Primo’s Matt Harrison said the cancellation of the festival was a huge disappointment.

“The good news was that the New Plymouth District Council refunded our sponsorship investment in full, and as it was money already spent, we decided to put this to good use in our community.”

Amy Olsen, manager of the Waitara Pātaka Kai/Foodbank, said the money would come in handy as it had been a tough couple of years for a lot of people.

”We don’t have a demographic of particular people any more,” she said. “We’re getting people from all walks of life now.”

If anyone wants to buy something special for the food bank, Olsen suggested shampoo, razors and deodorant.

Sharon Wills, manager of the New Plymouth Community Food Bank, said they would use a lot of the money on fresh fruit and vegetables, which were always in demand.

Very importantly, she said, if someone has a spare building in central New Plymouth, she would love to hear from them.

The food bank is losing its premises on Vivian St shortly and needs somewhere to call home to cope with the growing demand.

Dianne Roberts, of the Stratford Community Foodbank, the charity loved receiving fresh fruit and veggies, feminine hygiene products, and UHT milk.

Will you or your business be donating some “Christmas Cheer” to food banks in Taranaki? Email editor@dailynews.co.nz



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