We returned and gave support to the great organization Helping Hands that feeds the homeless of Auckland, New Zealand.

They are a group of ladies that go out onto the streets of Auckland every Tuesday and Sunday night. Approx. 150 people turn up at each meal. They prepare the food in advance in their homes and meet up outside the Auckland Library and set up a row of tables where they serve all the dishes. The food is very healthy and nutritious.

The majority of the homeless people that they feed are males between 40-60 years but now also women, children and teenagers are turning up. They do not ask anything about their backgrounds unless the people want to open up and everyone is welcome to come and eat. Some of the people coming are addicted to drugs. They explained to me that the drug dealers sell the drugs at a very cheap price in the beginning and then once the person is addicted they increase the price. There have also been cases where there has been rat poison added to the drugs.

It is not only homeless people coming, there can also be people with low-income who cannot afford food but have somewhere to live, for example staying on a friend’s couch. There are also very poor families coming to get a proper meal twice a week.

Helping Hands does not only provide with food, they also provide clothes, hygiene products, blankets, sleeping bags, etc. Lööf Foundation had the pleasure in supporting with lots of these products to their cause. We went to a big supermarket and bought very many things! We feel very proud that we were able to provide with the following items:

20 washing flannels

6 blankets

5 large plastic containers

9 small containers

35 pairs of men’s underwear

25 pairs of men’s socks

30 pairs of women’s underwear

40 pairs of women’s socks

1 big pack of dog food

48 toothbrushes

140 women’s pads

10 brushes

16 combs

18 men deodorant

10 women deodorant

140 razors

20 packs facial cleaning wipes

10 packs of baby wipes

5 bottles of body moisturizer

9 nail clippers

6 bottles of shaving foam

7 cans of Vaseline

19 body wash

24 soaps

610 plastic spoons

160 knives

160 forks

350 dessert paper bowls

490 paper plates

600 plastic cups

300 napkins

We joined up with volunteer Laurie McCloud, who has been volunteering for Helping Hands for some time now. She picked us up at our hotel at 18:00 and we went to the outside of the Auckland Library. The waiting line was already long when we arrived. Some days they start lining up already at 16:00, the library lets them sit inside and wait since it is winter and rather cold. We joined up with approx. 10 other volunteers who came in their vehicles filled with food. We helped and put up all tables and started to lay out the food. We plated all the food to everyone coming in order for the food to last for everyone. They were all so hungry and wanted a lot of food! We had bought plastic containers, so some could take seconds with them “home” and some of them brought their own plastic containers and brought food to people who were too sick to walk to the library. A mother of 14 came with some of her children, she had traveled from the west of Auckland in order for her kids to get a proper meal. We had a chat with Lloyd who has been homeless for many years, he lives under the harbor bridge and comes every week to Helping Hands servings. He thinks these nights were the best nights of the week.

Most of the food the volunteers have bought and cooked themselves, the New Zealand supermarket Countdown provides with some food since they have a goal of zero rubbish, but they are not allowed to give away dairy or meat products.

The evening giving out food felt very meaningful even if it was hard to see that so many people suffer and live on the streets. Everyone was very thankful and polite. We hope that we in the future will have the possibility to support towards this cause again!

 

Sophie Lööf

Founder & Chairman Lööf Foundation

 

                                    

                                   

                                    

                                    

                                    

                                    

                                    

                                    

                                    

 

 

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