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Grateful Bread giveaway sees hundreds of attendees

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Filling a need: volunteers help the hundreds of attendees at Grateful Bread’s giveaway at St Andrew’s Church over the weekend (Photograph supplied)

Hundreds of people turned out over the weekend for a giveaway event hosted by a community action group that works to help people struggling financially.

The Grateful Bread managed the handover of donated clothes, toiletries and children’s toys to families at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton on Saturday.

Juliana Snelling, the organiser, said that the group received several shipping containers-worth of goods — one of which was cleaned out after an hour.

She added: “It’s thrilling and moving to see everyone come out to help, it makes us so grateful.

“They’re from every demographic — every race, class, section of society — all wanting to help.”

The giveaway welcomed as many as 300 people within the first hour, which even led to a line forming around the church.

Volunteers, who helped attendees sort through clothing, also offered sandwiches and sweet treats to attendees.

Filling a need: volunteers help the hundreds of attendees at Grateful Bread’s giveaway at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, over the weekend (Photograph supplied)

Ms Snelling said that the attendance level was nothing new, adding that “the need is constant, and greater than ever”.

She added that, while it was sombre to see how many people needed help, it was “heart-warming” to witness the amount of donations and volunteers the group received.

Ms Snelling said: “We even have guests come in and help set up the tables. One man was here since 7am, even though we didn’t start setting up until 11.30. People get excited to get here.”

Kristine Cornish, a volunteer with the Grateful Bread, said that people tended to bring extended family with them, and could leave with trash bags filled with items.

She added that people often came forward at the last minute with plenty of goods.

Ms Cornish explained: “We’re seeing a lot of families who know about us contacting us directly and saying ‘we’ve got a whole house of bedding and sheets’. They’re giving us toys and kids’ clothing, bedding – everything.”

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Published April 08, 2024 at 7:37 am (Updated April 09, 2024 at 11:12 pm)

Grateful Bread giveaway sees hundreds of attendees

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