TLC donates $60,000 to local foodbanks
6 September 2021
The Lines Company (TLC) has donated $60,000 to seven local foodbanks to help struggling families hit by the latest COVID-19 lockdown.
This follows the COVID support provided in 2020 when TLC waived a month of variable charges for residential customers during the previous alert level 4 lockdown period.
The money has been spread across the TLC network area and will go into Mangakino, Ōtorohanga, Raetihi, Taumarunui, Te Kūiti, and Tūrangi. In turn, those food banks will distribute food to families in need in surrounding areas.
With the support of the Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust (WESCT), the one-off grant was approved by the TLC Board last week with instructions it be distributed immediately.
WESCT Chair Peter Keeling said the COVID-19 lockdown was having a significant effect in the Community.
“We’re very pleased to see cash going to where it is vitally needed and where it will have a direct positive impact. We know some of our people are really struggling given this latest lockdown so WESCT is very happy to see TLC taking swift and direct action.” Peter said.
Te Kūiti Korowai Aroha Charitable Trust will receive a portion of the $60,000 to help ensure food parcels keep going out to people most in need. Co-chair Antonio (Shane) Ashby said the donation couldn’t come at a better time. Last week the Trust, which works on Tuesdays and Thursdays, fed around 200 people one day and 120 people the other.
“Since COVID, the demand has really climbed and we’re talking adults, children and infants,” Shane said. “We normally send out between 20 to 60 parcels a week but since COVID, the increase has been huge.”
The Te Kūiti Korowai Aroha Charitable Trust works in a bubble of Trustees and a staff member, all of whom are fully vaccinated. Under Alert Level 3 rules, the Trust can operate as long as all safety precautions are taken. Their service sees them help whanau in Benneydale, Piopio, Te Kūiti, Aria, the whole Waitomo District and parts of Marakopa.
While the grant from TLC was warmly welcomed, the wider community could still help as well, Shane said. The food bank would take any kind of contribution, including fresh fruit or vegetables.
“We will gladly accept any koha or any donation….money or kai. Whatever people want to give, we will accept. If you’re not sure how you can help, ring me on 027 674 2073.”
In December last year, TLC also made a Christmas donation to local food banks. But TLC chief executive Sean Horgan said this was a much more significant grant and reflected a “dire and urgent need”.
“Our staff are considered essential workers and we haven’t felt some of the financial implications of COVID that our friends and neighbours might be facing,” he said.
“We know there are some families across our network who do it tough at the best of times, so this latest lockdown will be really hard on them. This is the fastest way of getting help to those who need it most and we’re happy to step up and do our part.”