Auckland Council has set up a system to assist Aucklanders struggling to access basic household supplies.
Starting from tomorrow (Wednesday, April 1), Aucklanders who are unable to afford groceries, or who are in self-isolation with no access to other support networks, can call Auckland Emergency Management for help on 0800 22 22 96, between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week.
Anyone who meets the government’s eligibility criteria will be couriered a welfare parcel containing items such as dry goods, including pasta and rice, tinned vegetables, meats and basic toiletries.
The first courier parcels are expected to be dispatched at the end of this week. A distribution centre is being set up with Council staff being trained in health and safety provisions for warehousing work, under Covid-19 guidelines.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the programme supports the national efforts to ensure those who are experiencing hardship due to Covid-19 can meet their essential needs.
“While most Aucklanders are continuing to shop normally for their essential products, there are a small number of people facing real hardship and who need greater support. Through this programme, we can ensure that nobody in our community goes hungry, and that the staple supplies they rely on are available to them,” he says.
“Our customer services call centre staff, who are trained to deal with a wide range of situations, currently have capacity to take on extra duties due to the lockdown.”
Mr Goff says as the Covid-19 situation develops, Council will look at more ways to utilise its staff who may be able to be redeployed.