Foodbank entering new era

Bank on it . . . Full management of foodbank services has been transferred from the Salvation Army to Clutha Budget Advice Service, care of Amy Senada (left) and Lee›Anne Michelle. PHOTO: NICK BROOK

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Balclutha’s foodbank will continue through a ‘‘seamless’’ transition, service providers said.

From today the Clutha Budget Advisory Service will be taking over the local food distribution operation from the Salvation Army.

‘‘Although we need to make changes to our Balclutha ministries, our connection with the town and its people will continue,’’ Salvation Army Southern Division commander Major Susan Goldsack said.

The Salvation Army has been present in Balclutha since the 1890s, but Major Goldsack said its community ministries in the town had been operating at a deficit for an ‘‘extended period’’ and although its foodbank service could no longer be financially sustained it would continue to deliver a limited range of social services to the district, and would ensure a ‘‘seamless handover’’ of existing food, equipment and related networks to the new foodbank provider.

Clutha Budget Advisory Service’s (CBAS) effective foodbank experience has already been honoured with a 2022 Clutha District Council Community Services Award following its partnership with KiwiHarvest, a group which sources food supply and manages distribution from Dunedin.

Assuming the overall local foodbank operations will mean decisions and changes for CBAS, the range of services of which have been in high demand following recent increases in the cost of living. ‘‘We are investigating our options with other premises but will be keeping the actual food at the current venue at the moment, so pick up could be there or from CBAS,’’ CBAS service co›ordinator Lee›Anne Michelle said.

Ms Michelle said CBAS was in touch with all its clients, and food support would be available five days a week by either phoning (027) 311›4867, emailing [email protected] or by calling into Budget Advice at 14C James St.

‘‘We anticipate a smooth transfer and no disruption of services to existing or new foodbank users.

‘‘The foodbank is a natural progression for our organisation and fits well with the work we are already doing in the community.

‘‘The transfer of services has been planned and supported by a wider group from the community, including the Clutha District Council, Clutha Development and Anglican Family Care,’’ she said.

CBAS will be the sole provider of the service and Ms Michelle said it was researching and reviewing the many foodbank operation models to trial and select which would work best in the local setting.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan spoke in support of the smooth transition of the foodbank.

‘‘This is a fresh beginning for our district at a challenging time, and an opportunity for our community to step up and assist the launch of this new service by donating any food items they can afford to share,’’ he said.