Monday 10 July 2023

The Mission Food Chain: From donor to diner

Auckland City Mission white food truck with logo on the side.Feeding Aucklanders in need is a big operation with a lot of moving parts – and masses of extremely good hearts.

Food is either donated directly, or bought using money donated to the Mission. Kai is then sorted, packed and distributed to tens of thousands of families across Tāmaki Makaurau who would not otherwise have enough food for each family member. Clients can pick up from our site in Boston Road, or from our partners at Papakura Marae, Manurewa Marae and Ngā Whare Waatea Marae in Māngere.

We also support foodbanks around the wider Auckland region, including large operations such as Visionwest, and many small church or community groups.

The hub of this operation is our distribution centre, located at Nga Whare Waatea Marae, where kai arrives and departs by the tonne.

In the year to December 2022, the Mission distributed 49,406 food parcels – or the equivalent of 2.38 million meals. In the first three months of this year, more than 15,500 boxes of food – or 747,264 meals has been provided to families so that they can create nourishing meals when it’s needed the most.

Hamish offloading food including large red sacks of onions off a truck.

Senior Storeperson Hamish Hippolite offloading food from a Mission truck.

Warehouse Senior Storeperson Hamish Hippolite is regularly on the road, collecting and delivering kai. In a typical day, he will deliver pallets of food parcels to the Mission pick up site, collect pallets of food from various donors, then drive to marae in Māngere, Manurewa or Papakura to deliver parcels of non-perishable kai and pallets of stock items such as potatoes and onions. Our marae partners then top up the parcels with fresh food before distributing to whānau.

A routine round trip will be about 100km long with hundreds of kilos of food being moved along the chain.

“The pallets of tinned food can weigh up to 800kg and that can get a bit tricky,” says Hamish, “but I honestly love this work. We’re a small team and it’s imperative that we work together so everyone pitches in and it’s a great vibe.”

Through the Mission’s support, families who would otherwise make difficult sacrifices – such as missing an evening meal – can ensure they have the nutritious food they need.

If you would like to contribute to the Mission’s food service, please visit our website.