Covid-19 forced Ngā Whare Waatea to resume foodbank services - Bernie O'Donnell

By Bronson Perich

The Manukau Urban Māori Authority (MUMA) operates a foodbank at Ngā Whare Waatea Mārae. MUMA representative Bernie O’Donnell says it didn't start off with a foodbank. Until last year, its focus was on providing housing and social services.

“We had to reintroduce it (foodbank service), once the first wave of Covid-19 hit us,” Bernie O’Donnell says.

To keep people safe from Covid-19, people are asked to call MUMA and make an appointment. After speaking with a MUMA representative, an assessment is done, and an appointment to collect the kai is made.

Unsustainable long term

Donated bread at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae foodbank - Source / File

MUMA's Julia Kainamu while the authority has a constant supply of kai, there aren’t enough hours in the day, or workers, to distribute the food parcels.

“The numbers we’re at, at the moment, they aren’t sustainable,” Julia Kainamu says.

“If they’ve been to us several times, we’re offering them other services. Building financial capability onsite, we also have Whānau Ora services.”

MUMA hopes to continue to help in the short-term but says long time assistance is needed. 

To collect a food parcel from MUMA, you can call 0800 686232 (0800 MUMAFB).

You can find other foodbanks, by clicking here.