After another turbulent year, many Kiwi kids are excited about being back at school. However, Back-to-school time can be stressful for families. Kids often need new uniforms, stationary, schoolbags, devices, and other supplies to be set up for successful learning.
Hastings Community Ministries case manager, Cathy Willers, says, “Going forward into February/March and beyond it is expected that the demand for food assistance will continue to grow as families grapple with back-to-school costs, and the continuing rise in rent, food, and petrol costs while income and benefits have not changed. For some it becomes a juggling act between paying the bills or buying groceries" Cathy says, “there are times the mum won’t have dinner because she is 'not hungry' so that there is food for the children.”
When children come to school without the supplies their classmates have, it can make them feel like the odd one out, which ultimately effects their learning and relationships with peers.
Principal of Glendene School, Sepora Mauigoa, says, “It effects their learning because they come to school, they see everyone else is ready to learn and they don’t have those resources, so there’s a lack of confidence, they’ll hide, and they may not want to come to school.”
Fuelled by the support of the public, The Foodbank Project provides food to whanau in need, so that they don’t have to choose between going hungry and sending their kids to school without supplies.
The difference this makes for people is huge. Here are some comments from families we have supported over the years.
“We were incredibly surprised and overwhelmed by the box of food that we received. Our family has had an extremely tough year. This package left us feeling so cared for. Thank you so very, very much.”
“Thank you for your amazing help, helping my family. No amount of words can say how grateful we are. Thank you.”
“Thank you so much for your generosity, it took so much pressure of my family for the kids special first days. Really appreciate it, what a life saver.”
At this time of year, receiving food support means that families can manage back to school costs, with more ease, and send their children back to school with the necessary supplies. This enables children to start off the school year in confidence and fit in with their classmates.
Our back-to-school appeal runs through until Wednesday the 15th. If you would like to support families in need during this time, you can make a meaningful difference by donating one of our back-to-school food parcels on our homepage.