Cambridge-based meal delivery service Emma's Food Bag is getting behind Waikato Women's Refuge Te Whakaruruhau to spread the Christmas spirit this holiday season.
The company is supporting the refuge this year in a public campaign to gift Christmas Food Bags to Waikato women and children affected by domestic violence.
Local businesses and individuals can get involved by purchasing a Christmas Food Bags, at a specially discounted price of $130, which will then be gifted to a family in one of the refuge safe houses or community.
The Christmas Food Bag, which normally sells for $159, includes items to make a three-course meal for four to six people, which can be used for lunch or dinner. The menu includes a festive antipasto platter, chicken with pomegranate glaze, side dishes, and a pavlova with berries.
Emma Sinclair, co-founder of Emma's Food Bag says she is delighted to support her local refuge this holiday season.
"It's really important to us to collaborate with local community organisations, and Waikato Women's Refuge is one local organisation whose work is invaluable. As a community we need to do what we can to support women and children affected by domestic violence," says Sinclair.
Emma's Food Bag was established in 2013 and Sinclair says they aim to keep community impact at the heart of what they do. They have given food donations to Waikato Women's Refuge in the past, and Sinclair says it was a "humbling" experience.
During Christmas time about 65 women and children live in Waikato Women's Refuge safe houses and many others are transitioning out of safe houses to the community. The refuge's 24/7 crisis line is often busy fielding calls and supporting women and families in need of support during the Christmas and New Year season.
Waikato Women's Refuge CEO Ruahine (Roni) Albert says Christmas is the most difficult time of the year for families in their care.
"There is tremendous pressure on the mums, and the children can feel left out. They come to us with nothing. We do our best to support our whānau with gifts and a good meal," says Albert. "We would appreciate any help from businesses or the community to make a difference to our women and children at Christmas."
Preparing and enjoying the family Christmas meal was a memorable part of Sinclair's own childhood. "Unfortunately, it can be a difficult time of year for some families. If this can give some joy this Christmas, and help alleviate some stress and costs, I'm happy. Emma's Food Bag is proud to help give the gift of beautiful, nutritious food to these families."
Emma's Food Bag is one of three Christmas initiatives that Waikato Women's Refuge has introduced this year, to support affected whānau and raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence, which traditionally spike over the Christmas and New Year period.
Women's Refuge are also asking for donations which will go towards Christmas
gifts for refuge families - including those in safe houses and those who have
recently transitioned into the community. The donation options include:
"We are extremely thankful for the support we receive from the community during this busy time of year. These donations make it possible to help victims live a better life, free from domestic violence," says Albert.