Too many mothers are missing out on fresh food and are skipping meals, so their kids have enough to eat.
Research by the University of Waikato found that parents went without food in order to feed their children and that mothers in particular worked very hard to protect their children from knowing the extent of the poverty and hunger within the home.
“Mums are experts at shielding their children from anything that might lower their esteem. By going to great lengths to prevent the stigma of food poverty, it masks the true extent of the problem in New Zealand,” says Fair Food General Manager Michelle Blau.
Almost 1 in 3 solo parent households face material hardship, like lack of access to fresh fruit and vegetables. According to the Ministry of Health, 22% of children ages 0-15 live in households reporting that food ran out often or sometimes. This number is likely to be much higher now as grocery prices have skyrocketed. It is hard to reconcile this with the fact that New Zealand produces enough food to feed 40 million people.
A New Zealand Food Network (NZFN) survey of 43 food charities conducted between last January and June confirmed that employed people are increasingly seeking assistance, as 79% cited low-paying jobs as their reason for requesting food support. This was before interest rates on mortgages were predicted to go up by around $900 a fortnight in Auckland. Fresh produce was 22% more expensive in March of this year compared to the year before.
Fair Food is encouraging people to donate $10 to provide a week’s worth of fresh food for a mum in need. By rescuing surplus perishable foods like meat, dairy, and produce from supermarkets and manufacturers, Fair Food’s team of volunteers can provide the ingredients for a healthy meal for just 50 cents.
“We have already shared more than 175,000 kilos of food for free this year (about half a million meals), but there’s a waitlist of charities wanting to partner with us, and every group we help has seen increased requests for assistance this year. The cost of living crisis, flood, and cyclone have really knocked our community back, but if everyone helps a little, we can all get back on our feet,” shares Michelle.
Donate today, so mum has one less thing to worry about and can relax knowing her fridge is full.