Helping out . . . Te Whanau o Hokonui Marae Kiwi Harvest co-ordinators Matthew and Eileen and Hollis pack about 28 food parcels for families and kaumata in the Gore district each week. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

There is a growing need for food parcels in the Gore district, Kiwi Harvest co-ordinators Eileen and Matthew Hollis say.

Kiwi Harvest collects good food before it goes to waste and gives it to those in need.

The food parcels are put together at Te Whanau o Hokonui Marae on Gore’s Hyde St.

Mr and Mrs Hollis took over the role at the start of the year. Shona Kapea-Maslin started the project in 2020 during lockdown and then Josie Tuhakaraina became the co-ordinator.

When the Hollises started, the food parcels were delivered fortnightly.

Twelve food parcels for families and eight for kaumatua were put together.

However, since the school holidays the parcels were now being prepared weekly and the number of parcels for families had increased to 20, they said.

‘‘It’s getting worse for people,’’ Mrs Hollis said.

Some people did not find it easy to ask for help.

‘‘It’s a big struggle to open your mouth and say I need food,’’ she said.

‘‘Please don’t be shy,’’ Mrs Hollis said.

‘‘The failure is not to go and get the help.’’

Anyone could apply for a food parcel from the marae, they said.

Gore Salvation Army Corps community worker Kaye Byron said she had noticed an increase in the requests for food parcels, which was common at this time of year.

There were also more Covid cases in the community which was not helping the situation.

‘‘People are really struggling at the moment.’’

The price of food at the moment was ‘‘ridiculous’’.

‘‘For some it is out of their reach to pay bills and eat.’’

Kiwi Harvest also delivered food to the corps.

The Lions club annual Toot for Tucker food drive coming up in December would help restock the corp’s pantry, which was looking bare, she said.