Easter is a time of reflection and a reminder for many of what they are grateful for given the theme of sacrifice and new life. For foodbanks, like The Village Community Services Trust in Avondale, they are reminded just how important their services are during this time for many Pacific families.
Lady Maliena Jones, who started the trust with her husband La’auli Sir Michael Jones twenty years ago, acknowledges one of the busiest periods in their history was this time last year when the country was experiencing a lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A year later, The Village, which is a Pasifika Futures partner, continues to help families get back on their feet.
“Families are still struggling because there might be not enough shifts, or someone has lost their job and they haven’t been able to fill that loss of income. Sometimes family need that extra relief to help them get through a long weekend, like Easter,” she says.
“Our families are so resilient and upbeat, and they’ll make do with whatever they have. We don’t want families to struggle. We want them to survive, and we are here to offer them support.”
Lady Maliena, her husband, their staff, and a group of volunteers helped distribute more than 2,700 food parcels, with many items donated by local supermarkets and businesses, when the country first went into Alert Level 4 lockdown in March 2020. They have been working steadily ever since.
“In an ideal world, I would love to be unemployed because that would mean our families are doing well. We’re like a bridge that brings the generosity of others, on to those who are in need.”
She says that Easter is a time to acknowledge why they continue to serve the Pacific community.
“Easter marks the celebration of Christ’s sacrifice for us. There’s always so much room to love and give of ourselves to others, just as Christ has done for us.”
Date: Saturday 03 April 2021