South Auckland food bank expecting ‘hectic’ days ahead following lockdown announcement

The community leader behind one of New Zealand’s largest food banks says he expects demand to rise in the coming days as Auckland returns once more to Alert Level 3. 

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Dave ‘Buttabean’ Letele says people’s need for support services escalates every time Covid-19 returns to the community. Source: 1 NEWS

Dave Letele, who runs Brown Buttabean Motivation’s food bank in Manukau, said every time alert levels increase, “it just escalates the need”. 

“How much more can we take? I know we’re resilient. But, man, I got knocked back a bit and feeling a bit down for myself in there and down for my people,” he told 1 NEWS last night, having heard the news of the lockdown while watching the Joseph Parker v Junior Fa boxing match. 

“But, we’ve got to stand up and help those who need the help.”

The food bank is one of the largest in the country and also offers wrap-around services for those who need it. 

“In times of need, those who can help should, and that’s what we do," Letele said.

At one of the food bank’s busiest times, Letele told 1 NEWS in June last year he would often see queues of cars “going back to the motorway”. 

“I just feel for my people.”

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Letele, a former boxer, said he was relieved the Parker v Fa match had finished before Auckland went back into lockdown. 

“Everyone here’s trained the house down. It’s just good that it got done. If it was another hold up, it would have been a nightmare.”