Friday December 15, 2017   Last updated 11:39AM
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Face of poverty in mission lines

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Auckland City Mission chief executive Chris Farrelly wants to put food poverty and food insecurity on the agenda in the coming year.

People started lining up outside the mission's Hobson St headquarters at midnight for the food and gift parcels that may help them through Christmas.

About 80 percent of the queue were mothers and grandmothers raising children on their own, and a high percentage were Maori.

Mr Farrelly says it's consistent with a busy year with many families living day to day from hand to mouth with little left over for food, let alone gifts.

"Not having enough food is not just about going hungry. It also grinds away at other things. You are excluded from other things. Your kids can't ask their mates over to the house for a party or a bite to eat because they are ashamed. Often they can't go to school because they are ashamed. Relationships with the parents break down. Their health breaks down. Cognitive behaviour growth breaks down. There's a whole lot of spin offs apart from just hunger," he says.

Partnerships with Manukau Urban Maori Authority and Papakura Marae have helped the city mission extend its reach this year.

The Auckland City Mission has an appeal on to cover the $1.3 million it needs to get through the festive season.

CHRIS FARRELLY FULL INTERVIEW

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