Frequently asked questions

When are food parcels needed?
Food parcels are needed throughout the year for individuals and families facing sudden, unexpected need from situations such as job losses, health problems, or vehicle repairs. Increases in demand also occur during winter as people face additional heating costs, travel and medical needs and in February when many families struggle to cover the Christmas, holiday and back to school costs. We are particularly grateful for donations at these peak times.

Who receives food parcels?
All sorts of people come to The Salvation Army looking for help with food. Individuals, solo parents, small and large families, those in work and those who aren't. Rising living costs and especially increasing rents lead many to seek help. At The Salvation Army, food parcels are provided by social workers alongside budget advice and other support, to help people address the underlying challenges that have led them to need food help.

How do food parcels provide a hand up?
By working with Salvation Army budget advisors, clients can redirect the money they would normally spend on groceries to address short-term costs or debt. Over time, this regular food assistance helps families get out of debt and on top of their living costs.

What goes into a food parcel?
Food parcels are packed each week with core non-perishable items such as canned food, rice, cereals, drinks and other essential grocery items. As well as the staples needed for meals, snack items are included for school lunch boxes. Fresh items such as fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy and bread are added to the food parcel just before they are collected by our clients. Personal care and cleaning products are added whenever they are available. All the grocery items available on The Foodbank Project are critically needed in food parcels.

Who helps produce The Salvation Army's food parcels?
Salvation Army food parcels are packed by a large team of staff and volunteers from all walks of life. They include people who've previously received food or other help, members of community organisations and staff from businesses. In some places, people on community service also help. Find out more about how our Royal Oak foodbank operates through this 6-minute video.

Where is The Foodbank Project available?
Donations made to The Foodbank Project are delivered to Salvation Army foodbank 'hubs' in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Gisborne, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

What happens if I donate from outside of the areas that are supported?
While you can donate from anywhere in New Zealand, or even the world, your donation will be delivered to your closest hub, with any surplus being shared with other foodbanks in that region. Over time, as donations increase, we will expand our network of foodbank hubs so donations can be targeted to help even more local communities.

What happens after I make my online donation?
Once a week, all products donated through The Foodbank Project in local 'hub communities' are sent as a single order to the Countdown online shopping site. Countdown stores then pack and deliver all of the product donations to the nearest Salvation Army foodbank hub for distribution to clients through Salvation Army food parcels. You'll receive an email when your donation has been dispatched so you know when your support will start making a difference.

How do you select the products that you make available for donation?
The products shown on the website have been carefully selected to reflect the items most frequently needed in Salvation Army food parcels. By working closely with Countdown we have been able to select items for their long-term low prices. We also provide special occasion bundles to provide a treat that can be included in food parcels at key points throughout the year, such as Christmas and Easter.

How are the prices determined?
Prices are subject to change and can be reviewed at any time. All products and prices listed on The Foodbank Project are sourced from the Countdown website but aren't updated live.

Wherever possible, prices will be the same as a Countdown store or their online shopping site. Where a product is discounted further by Countdown at the time of purchase, it will be supplied to The Foodbank Project at the lower price with the difference retained by The Salvation Army as a donation to buy additional food for foodbanks. Countdown also waives delivery fees on The Foodbank Project orders and gives The Salvation Army a discount on the price of each donated order, which is used to help meet the costs of The Foodbank Project.

Prices listed are reviewed quarterly to make sure they are as accurately priced as possible. Where a major price change impacts recurring donations, we will contact donors to seek permission to update their regular donations.

What happens if the product I choose to donate is out of stock?
Countdown will supply the product once it is available again, or substitute for a similar product. Either way, your donation will always make it to the foodbank.

If I am a Onecard holder, do I get Onecard points or discounts?
No. By ordering on The Foodbank Project, you are making a donation to The Salvation Army, who then place an order at a discounted rate through to Countdown's online delivery service.

Can I donate without using a credit card?
Unfortunately, The Foodbank Project is only set up to receive donations by credit/debit card. If you don't have a credit or debit card and you'd like to support The Foodbank Project you can donate online to our bank account, as shown below, or by posting a cheque to The Salvation Army, Donations Team, PO Box 6015, Marion Square, Wellington 6011, New Zealand. Please add a note with your cheque asking for the donation to go to The Foodbank Project.

Please use the following details to make a donation through online banking making sure to include the code and reference details:

Account: 02-0568-0091726-00
Particulars: The Foodbank Project
Code: 04-30
Bank: Bank of New Zealand
Branch: Courtenay Place
Account Name: The Salvation Army - Red Shield Appeal Account

I've moved house - how do I change the address on my account?
To change your address, log in to your account using the email address and password you chose when you made your first donation (if you're experiencing issues with this, please contact us). From your account dashboard, you'll be able to see all your recent donations and a summary of your account details. Under the Account Details heading, click the red "View Addresses" button. You can have multiple addresses on your account. To edit an address, click the red "Edit" button underneath it and make the changes you need. Note that the address you have saved as Default will be the address on your receipt and will determine where your donation is sent.

Need Food Assistance?

The Foodbank Project is an initiative of The Salvation Army designed to strengthen its foodbank programme. If you need help please contact your nearest Salvation Army centre. You can find them here.