A recent Otago University Study estimated the cost of a basic healthy weekly diet as being NZ$50 for an adult male; $48 for an adult female; $64 for an adolescent male; $53 for an adolescent female; and $41 for a 10 year old child.
How then do minimum wage hard working families or pensioners survive, or have the least bit of a chance achieving a healthy diet?
The government recently launched a $67 million campaign to combat obesity, to encourage New Zealanders to eat well and eat less, but where's the programme for those who don't get enough to eat?
My City Mission newsletter arrived in the weekend, and the Missoner shares a story about an elderly woman who recently lost her husband, I'd like to share the story with you.
Together they were on a pre-tax pension of $277 a week. She and her husband were lead to believe by previous government that they would be able to live on the pension. But then her husband died and her rent increased and now she has to manage on $97 a week!
Of course she ought to move into a flat, but she has lived in the same small house for the past 27 years and her garden still provides most of her food. But when winter comes and the garden stops producing and her house needs heating; that's when she comes to the Mission to get a little help from her friends.
Now the Mission does amazingly well from caring generous folk donating at Christmas in December when the weather is balmy and the vegetables in her garden are growing strong and granting her an ample supply. Thankfully the Mission is really good at budgeting too, however they still don't have enough to go around and therefore unfortunately they can't help everyone. They have to pick and choose who's most needy. More and more pensioners are no longer able to cope on New Zealand Superannuation. They need help from the mission and they need this help most during these cold winter months, a time when traditionally donations are at their lowest.
Please help me with my Mid-Winter Christmas Appeal and donate as much as you traditionally donate in December or more! and make Winter 2007 a Mid-Winter Christmas for all New Zealanders!