Christchurch’s largest food bank to close just days before Christmas

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Dec 06, 2023 |

One of the country’s largest food rescue charities will close down.

Foodbank Canterbury is a secular, independent non-faith based, non- politically aligned, not activist controlled food rescue organisation.

With rising costs, it was forced to introduce a “service fee” this year, but that meant it was ineligible for Christchurch City Council funding.

Former executive director and founder of Foodbank Canterbury John Milligan told Chris Lynch Media he was “devastated by the news.”

“It seems like they’re not prepared to fight for it. This will do a lot of damage – even for the volunteers, who work there. It’s been so good for their mental health.”

In a letter sent to staff today, Foodbank Aotearoa New Zealand Board wrote “we are writing to inform you that the Foodbank Aotearoa New Zealand Board has unanimously voted to cease operations on Friday, 22 December at all the FBANZ locations.

You will be aware that at the 21 November meeting we had started a formal restructuring process at our Christchurch location, it has since been determined that those proposed changes would not be enough to enable the organisation to continue to operate in a financially responsible manner.

“This was not an easy decision to make, and came only after considering all possible alternatives. It was determined that if we continue to operate past 22 December, we would be putting our ability to pay staff for hours worked and holiday pay at risk.

“This decision was made at the point where we can only just meet our financial obligations, and combined with other factors meant that in the end this was the only decision that allowed us to treat our staff and stakeholders fairly.”

A family member of an affected worker told Chris Lynch Media the news was “pretty crappy and also disappointing for those relying on this rescued food to help feed families all over Christchurch.”

The manager has been approached for comment.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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