Community Networks food parcels – here to help

Community Networks and LINK are the Upper Clutha’s one-stop community support and connection centre. This month, we’re highlighting the food support services available in the local area. 

Your local foodbank

Community Networks food parcels are there for anyone struggling to make ends meet by taking some of the pressure off day-to-day living costs for a while. 

Our foodbank is well stocked with staple items, all generously donated by the Wānaka community and local businesses. Many of our recipients become donors in the future, giving back to a service that helped them through a rough patch. 

Pop into the Wānaka Community Hub and speak to our friendly front desk team who will help you pack a food parcel, completely confidentially. They can connect you to further support, like financial advice or a chat with the Community Networks social worker, Heather Clay. Heather can help you consider the bigger picture and find the best way forward.

A lot has changed since Community Networks started providing food parcels in 2010, especially in the last year. Since Covid-19, the need for food parcels has tripled and we’re averaging around 60-70 parcels per month. Our new Food Security Project Manager, Daisy Watford, is working on some exciting projects to minimise food waste in our community and make sure it gets to those who need it most. If you have any ideas, please get in touch.

The New World Family2Family Foodbank Appeal is collecting donations to help local families this winter. Fill up a bag of non-perishable groceries or purchase a pre-packed one to donate to our local foodbank. No donation is too small. 

Look out for our next blog, which will focus on other local food support services.

For more information, call 443 7799 or stop in at the Community Hub at 34 McDougall Street.

Connecting you to free financial advice

If you’re struggling with financial worries, Community Networks can connect you with a friendly financial adviser from Presbyterian Support Otago’s Family Works service or Central Otago Budgeting Services to help you put together a plan with confidential, non-judgemental guidance and support. 

Family Works Financial Mentor Nicole Huddleston covers the Wanaka area and can help you better understand budgeting, debt, financial products, loans and other money topics, reduce any ongoing cycles of debt and work out a financial plan that is right for you.

She explains that understanding your whole situation is key to successful financial planning. By “throwing all the pieces out on the table like a jigsaw puzzle” she can make an assessment and help you put the pieces together.

Budget advisers from Central Otago Budgeting Services cover Wanaka and Cromwell. They can meet you at the Wanaka Community Hub or your home and help you establish a financial safety net to stay on track, pay off debt and reach your future goals faster. COBS can also offer student support including budgeting workshops and help with student loans or setting up bank accounts. 


If you need immediate help with day-to-day needs like food, medical bills or counselling costs, the Community Food Bank, Community Support Fund and WellSouth GP vouchers are also there to help. 

Whatever puzzle you’re trying to solve, call 443 7799, stop in at the Community Hub on McDougall Street or visit to see what help is available.  


Community Networks Wanaka

Your one-stop community support and connection centre (Community blog)

It’s been a busy start to the year for Community Networks Wanaka and LINK Upper Clutha as we grow and enhance our one-stop community support and connection centre. Together, we provide information and support; connect and collaborate; and build a resilient community.  

Our team has doubled in size in 2021. Read more here.

You’ll be hearing more from us on what this means over the coming months, as we shine a light on the different services and resources available to you within the local area. 

Struggle got real Pink image with phone number

This month, we’re highlighting the financial advisory services we can connect you with.

Wanaka is a great place to live, but it isn’t always an easy place to live. 

Community Networks Wanaka can help you and your whānau tackle anything life throws at you, including financial worries. Whether you’re worried about getting by, up to your ears in debt, buying a house or just trying to save, we can connect you with free financial advice and support for a whole range of issues. 

From our home at the Wanaka Community Hub, friendly Community Networks staff can put you in touch with IRD to talk about tax, student loans and child support, help you complete application forms to see what Work and Income benefits you might be entitled to, or arrange a chat with our registered social worker, who can talk through your difficulties and connect you with longer-term support.

More on that next week… 

Whatever puzzle you’re trying to solve, call 443 7799, stop in at the Community Hub at 34 McDougall Street or visit to see what help is available. 

Community Networks Wanaka

LINK Upper Clutha