Pams coffee sachets, fudge, scorched almonds, and dark chocolate chunk cookies are just some of the treats being sent around the world to bring a little taste of home this Christmas to Kiwis deployed overseas, all thanks to Pams and the Returned and Services Association (RSA).
From the Sinai Desert to Antarctica, this year, 120 boxes full of Christmas goodies have been packed and sent to all currently deployed New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel based all over the globe.
Melissa Steffensen, Head of Brand and Channels for Foodstuffs Own Brands, says Pams has been supporting the RSA for over five years and is proud to share Christmas joy around the world to serving personnel.
“You don’t get more Kiwi than Pams.” She says. “It’s a really good feeling to be part of this initiative that bundles up a few of our Kiwi traditions for New Zealand personnel, especially for those serving in places where Christmas isn’t celebrated.”
Pams has been in Kiwi kitchens for over 80 years, and these boxes are a way to share a small taste of home, “A gift from our Pams family to our Defence Force family”.
“We’ve always been really focused on making food accessible to people – especially during Christmas and working with the RSA to send these donation boxes is another way we’re able to achieve this.”
The Pams team work closely with the RSA and the Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF) to choose products for the donation boxes each year, as each box must weigh the correct amount.
“Not a gram over, there isn’t even any room for air gaps, so it really is a military operation for us! Everything is measured and weighed down to the last millimetre and then packed tightly into the boxes to be put onto aircraft for delivery.”
As the boxes go to so many places that can be hard to reach via traditional freight methods, the RNZAF generously help deliver the boxes to every place with NZDF personnel.
This year, donation boxes are being sent to the peacekeeping force which is part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Desert, personnel who are deployed with United Nations (UN) in the Middle East, in South Sudan and in South Korea, personnel who deployed recently to the Solomon Islands and even personnel providing logistical support to the New Zealand operations in Antarctica.
RSA Communications Advisor Jeremy Seed says this initiative is incredibly special for deployed personnel and the RSA is grateful to have Pams on board as a major supporter.
“It’s fantastic being able to provide a taste of home to personnel who’re far from New Zealand and their loved ones at this special time of year.
“We know the parcels are appreciated and welcomed by personnel spending Christmas away from home, and we often receive heartfelt thankyous from recipients.”
“We’ve been very lucky to have such awesome support from Pams that allows us to continue this initiative and spread the Christmas cheer to all serving personnel, no matter how far from home they are.”
For Melissa and the team at Pams, the annual RSA donation boxes are a great reminder of the impact of kindness at this time of year.
“To be able to get behind such an awesome and underappreciated organisation such as the RSA is a real reminder that true kindness often goes unnoticed.”
“The RSA are an organisation built on supporting others and generosity and we are thrilled to be working alongside them on such an awesome cause.”