New Van For Generation Ignite’s Community Foodbank
New Lynn-based charitable trust Generation Ignite is making good use of an 11-seater Toyota van. Purchased with funding from the Million Dollar Mission, the vehicle does several essential jobs for this busy organisation.
‘The van has added real value to our services,’ explains the trust’s co-founder Jo Noema. ‘We have used it to transport young people within our youth group programmes on weekend retreats, camps and outings. Currently, it’s used to support our community foodbank initiative.’
A recipient of $35,090 from the Million Dollar Mission, Generation Ignite estimates that thousands of local people have benefitted.
The trust’s foodbank initiative, Generation Ignite Foodbank, has been busier than ever since the Covid-19 lockdown. The economic fallout as a result of the pandemic has led to an explosion in the number of people needing help.
‘In February we were packing 192 parcels throughout the month and feeding 541 people,’ says Jo.
‘In the ten weeks following the announcement of the lockdown, we distributed 1,184 parcels and fed 5,983 people.’
She continues, ‘Now that lockdown is over, we have found a new normal which is triple the pre-Covid distribution numbers. And there’s no way we could have coped without the van.’
The vehicle is used throughout the week to pick up deliveries from a network of suppliers. And every Friday the food parcels are packed at the charity’s New Lynn headquarters. The van then takes the packages to New Lynn Community Centre where they are distributed to the community. Fully loaded each time, the van makes several round trips and is essential to the operation.
‘Every Friday we pack 130 food parcels which feed an average of 650 people weekly,’ reports Jo. ‘There’s no way we could do all the picking up and transporting that’s needed without the van.’
To receive the full amount to purchase the vehicle was an incredible blessing, says Jo. Without the support of the Mission and the votes of West Aucklanders, Generation Ignite would have spent many precious hours fundraising.
According to Jo, the Million Dollar Mission voting process was exciting. And a whole team of volunteers got behind the project. In particular, the young people involved in Generation Ignite’s youth programmes were enthusiastic supporters on social media. They were instrumental in sharing the cause and in reminding people to vote daily.
Jo says, ‘We also had one awesome volunteer print flyers at her own expense. She did a letterbox drop and got her whole neighbourhood to vote for us!’
The Million Dollar Mission supports a wide range of community projects and initiatives throughout West Auckland. Often it’s the simplest ones, like a new van, that have the biggest impact. The Trusts is delighted to support the important work of the fantastic team at Generation Ignite.
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