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CLIENT NEWS: Early $12,000 Christmas present for King Country communities

Nine community initiatives across the King Country including four in the Taupo-Turangi region will receive an early Christmas present thanks to the latest Heartland Community Funding round.

More than $12,000 will be distributed to local community organisations in recognition of their commitment to enhance the King Country.

One of the recipients, the Turangi Foodbank, will be putting the funding towards food parcel items that have not been donated by the community. Toiletries, meat, milk and soap powder are all on the weekly foodbank shopping list.

Maggie Stewart, founder and chairperson of Turangi Foodbank, says the cost to run the organsiation per year is around $51,500 – all of which is obtained through donations and grants.

“Our endeavor is to make sure no one goes hungry,” says Stewart. “There are all sorts of reasons why people need a food parcel and it’s not just people on benefits or who have no income.”

Stewart says the Foodbank fills a hole in the community which is getting bigger not smaller. “When you’re on minimum wage and something unexpected crops up, it makes it difficult.”

The Foodbank supply about 250 days’ worth of food per month to individuals and families in need. During Christmas time this number grows.

“We are really grateful for grants such as the Trustpower Heartland Community Fund, who without them, we wouldn’t exist,” says Stewart.

Other groups to receive funding were Tongariro Sports Club, who will use the funding to provide first aid kits and training for coaches and managers; Turangi Social Connections Group, who will put the funding towards catering equipment to service community events combating social isolation; and Tuwharetoa Health, who provide smoke alarms and heaters to help keep whānau safe and warm.

The Heartland Community Fund was established in 2014 for community groups committed to a safer, healthier, sustainable and more connected King Country community.  

Trustpower recently committed to running the fund for at least the next five years, recognising its value and importance in the King Country.

“We were so pleased to see such a wide range of applications in the latest funding round,” says Trustpower Community and Communications Advisor, Alice Boyd.

“It’s clear there are some great people doing amazing things in the King Country community, and we hope the Heartland Community Fund continues to help them do their important work,” she says.

Applications for the next funding round open on 1 March 2019.

For more information about the Trustpower Heartland Community Fund, visit

PICTURED ABOVE:  Turangi Foodbank staff and children