Mum of two Melina has coped during many difficult times in her life. When COVID-19 hit, she turned to the Mission for urgent support because the burden of the pandemic meant she couldn’t feed her family.
The Mission responded with food and care to help her and her family through lockdown.
Melina and her children moved back to NZ from Australia five years ago to escape domestic violence. “My best chance for survival was to come home,” says Melina.
She very quickly found her feet with a job she loved in office administration, a car and a house. For the first time in many years, Melina felt safe and her children were settling well into school and life in New Zealand. “I was happy with our situation and life was good,” she says.
After only a few months, Melina was hospitalised with a recurring health issue that forced her to resign from her job. Suddenly, she was unable to pay rent and feared that she would become homeless. Thankfully Melina was moved into emergency housing then into a state home.
Melina was unable to work for months as she recovered from her surgery so signed up for the benefit. Despite having a place to live, she found it challenging to feed her children with the money she had.
“Mum was a support and would buy us food sometimes, but she had her own health issues and needed to look after herself as well. The benefit I was getting just didn’t stretch far enough for food”.
“I relied on the school lunch programme when the girls were at school, but they were at home in lockdown so it costs more to feed us all, “ says Melina. “I tried to make it work with what I had but with just a packet of noodles and some cereal, I knew I needed to get a food parcel quickly,”
That’s when Melina came to the Mission for help. “I unpacked the food parcel and thought ‘this is going to last us’. There was pantry stuff, chicken and some treats like chocolates for the kids. They thought it was Christmas again.”
Melina makes use of every item in the food parcels. She freezes what isn’t eaten straight away for meals to be eaten w money runs out.
She says having support from the Mission during lockdown made the world of difference to her family. Melina can’t imagine how she would have got through such a difficult time without the Mission.
Although Melina’s children are back at school, she is still impacted by her health issues. She looks forward to being well again and finding a job soon to support herself and her family. In the meantime, the Mission will be here for Melina and her children whenever they need food.