Since Christmas we have packed and delivered over 60 parcels to food banks and food distribution centres across NZ. These food banks indicated to us that they had received requests for GF food from members of their community, so we are thrilled to be able to meet their immediate need just in time for Christmas and in the New Year. We also sent out information packs so that the food banks can better understand the needs of the coeliac community, identify GF food items and offer a GF service in the future if needed. Thank you to everyone who made a donation to this appeal and to our sponsors who donated GF products. It's only with your help that this was possible!
Imagine not being able to provide food, clothing or shelter for your children. Add to that having to provide gluten free food – difficult to source and up to 500 per cent more expensive than comparable gluten-containing foods¹. There are hundreds of coeliac families struggling to cope with the increased cost of living, the housing and homelessness crises and the inequalities in regional welfare support services.
Over the past few years, the growth in ordinary Kiwi families needing to rely on food banks has risen considerably. The Auckland City Mission distributes over $1,000,000 worth of food every year.³ Last Christmas, the Mission distributed 3061 food parcels in 11 days, almost the same number as they distributed during the whole 2014 Christmas period.⁴ Those receiving this food include some of the 305,000 Kiwi kids who live in poverty.⁵ Given one in 70 New Zealanders⁶ – about 67,000 – are coeliacs, many of those accessing parcels need gluten free food.
We’ve seen an increase in families approaching us for help to source gluten free food and we’ve consulted with several crisis food distribution services to find out whether gluten free items are available. The sobering news is that there simply isn’t any available, but families are so desperate that they will accept any assistance, including gluten-containing bread, tinned food, pasta and noodles.
Coeliac NZ’s mission is to support and improve the health and welfare of not only some people with coeliac disease. As a community, we need to ensure that all coeliacs have access to the gluten free food that will support their health and wellbeing.
Coeliac NZ aims to raise $25,000 to supply established food banks nationwide with gluten free food items for coeliac families in need.
Families who receive the food parcels will be offered advice and assistance by Coeliac NZ. This is a ‘hand up’ for our coeliac community members towards a happier and healthier future.
By making a donation of $25, you can make a huge difference.
Coeliac NZ will distribute gluten free food parcels to food banks nationwide in the new year so we need your support now.
Together, let’s make this a happy start to the new year for struggling Kiwi coeliac families.
¹ Food Cost Comparison Study 2016 – Coeliac NZ
² Moving Targets: The State of the Nation Report 2016 – The Salvation Army
⁵ Child Poverty Monitor 2015: Technical Report. Poverty is defined as living on less than 60 per cent of New Zealand’s medium income, and includes
305,000 kids, about 29 per cent of Kiwi children.
⁶ Dr. Bob Anderson (2013)
How you can to get involved
1. Ask your local food bank if they need gluten free products. We are looking for food banks and food distribution centers to partner with us to distribute our gluten free hampers. If your local food bank serves families with coeliac disease, then please let us know by getting in touch.
2. Request for gluten free food. If you are needing a GF food parcel from a food bank, we want to encourage you to request it. This way food banks will see that there is a demand for gluten free food. Let them know that if they contact Coeliac NZ we can organise a GF food parcel to be delivered to them.
3. Donate gluten free food. If you're a GF food manufacturer and would like to partner with us by donating some products, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have you on board!
Also a special thank you to KidsCan for helping us store our products for this appeal!