Salvation Army data released this week gives a clear indication of the continued need for food assistance in communities, and supports the experience of NZCCSS’ wider social services networks.
The data shows that 54,000 emergency food parcels were given out in the past year and this number is up by 9 percent on the previous year, suggesting people were not coping with the increasing cost of living.
Salvation Army community ministries head Major Pam Waugh said:
“What we’re seeing is people are facing increasing rent charges and housing costs. People are in debt, there is lots of debt that they take on to get them through an emergency , and when it impacts on them they go to a higher interest lender. And when you’re income static, and all those prices have started going up, it impacts on how you provide for yourself.”
People approaching the Salvation Army for assistance are not exclusively those receiving welfare payments. The data shows that both people working for a minimum wage, as well as those receiving welfare payments, need help to meet day-to-day living costs. The scale of this need in communities is distressing.
more than 120,000 adults and dependent children were provided either emergency food parcels or assistance in areas such as accommodation, social work, addiction services and social support from the Army in the past year.
We have over one quarter of a million children living in poverty in New Zealand and half this number living in crowded, substandard living conditions. Of these children, over 61,700 under 17 year olds have parents that regularly access our services.”
The Salvation Army’s Red Shield appeal started this week. The appeal supports the Salvation Army to continue its steadfast Mission : caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society through God in Christ by the Holy Spirit’s power.