The Salvation Army launches appeal to help 120,000 vulnerable Kiwis

The Salvation Army has launched its annual appeal, pleading for support to help tackle another year of high demand for its services.

New figures released by the charity revealed it helped 120,000 people in 2018 - the equivalent of filling Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium four times, or one in every 40 New Zealand.

It's hoping its Red Shield Appeal, which began on Monday, drives donations which can help provide the vulnerable with basic necessities and other essential services.

Last year, 59,828 food parcels were handed out to nearly 29,000 families. About 16,000 budgeting services were also provided by the charity to 5694 families.

The Salvation Army national practice manager Jono Bell said the number of Kiwis living without the basics was alarming.

"We are definitely seeing a lot more New Zealanders coming around for adequate housing [and] budgeting support," he told Newshub.

Bell said understanding the issues facing families and helping them build vital life skills was important to breaking the cycle of poverty.

"Where we real see the change happen is that when we can work with them to understand what has been going on, and what are those factors that have resulted with them coming to this crisis," he said.

In a statement, Bell said The Salvation Army was desperate to continue helping the country's most vulnerable.

"It takes time and support to break the cycle of poverty. Every hungry person who comes through our doors for a food parcel would benefit from longer-term help, budgeting sessions, social work or counselling."

He said the charity's 70 social service centres can also only stay open for limited hours because it couldn't hire enough trained staff.

Donations can be made on the charity's website or given to a Salvation Army street collector between April 29 and May 5.


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