EMBARGOED UNTIL 5AM Minister for Social Development Carmel has announced further support to help people access food. Photo: Supplied
The Government is putting up a further $10 million is being provided to help people access ongoing food and other essential items.
This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute over 50,000 more food parcels, and 20,000 essential wellbeing packs.
“Our Government is focused on keeping New Zealanders safe from Cobid-19. We’re committed to also ensuring people, whānau and communities are able to continue accessing the support they need, especially households who are self-isolating,” says Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.
Since August 17, 2021, a total of $69.31 million in additional funding has been provided by Government agencies to support providers and organisations serving their communities.”
The Food Secure Communities programme was funded in Budget 2020 with $32 million over two years.
Sepuloni says this funding is to help meet the additional demand on foodbanks, food rescue and other community providers as a result of Covid-19, including during lockdowns.
“Our Government’s response so far has recognised the need for whānau-centred support, iwi-led responses for their local community, as well as support for Māori, Pacific and disabled communities,” says Sepuloni.
“In particular, the Pacific community in Auckland has been impacted by the current outbreak. They’ve made up over half of those having to self-isolate, resulting in entire support networks not being able to activate and mobilise.”
Through this funding 131 foodbanks, food rescue and community providers around New Zealand are receiving two-year funding to help with increased demand, including access to stock.
MSD have also funded Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective, the New Zealand Food Network and Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance. These organisations continue to work with MSD to strengthen the food security sector.
“MSD has developed strong relationships and established an approach to working with and supporting Pacific social service providers across Auckland. This includes working with MSD-funded Community Connectors who are embedded with Pacific providers to support the broader Pacific workforce network,” says Sepuloni.
“This funding aims to support them and provide continuity through what is a challenging time, and as we stamp out Covid-19 from the community.”
Additional access to food stocks through food rescue organisations and other food hubs has increased including the New Zealand Food Network which was established to distribute surplus food from large scale food producers (more than 3100 tonnes of food – about 8,972,771 meals) distributed through 50 food hubs.
“The rapid public health response required to contain the spread of the Delta Variant of Covid-19 has highlighted the need to ensure an equally rapid welfare response,” says Sepuloni.
“The Ministry for Social Development will continue to work with key agencies across the system to ensure that support is coordinated and targeted to areas and populations with the greatest need.
“We’re committed to making sure our response to Covid-19 is rapid, coordinated and efficient, and ensuring people and our communities aren’t carrying the burden of lockdown alone,” says Sepuloni.
Anyone who has problems accessing food:
You can ask family, friends and neighbours if they can help to deliver food to you. Delivery should be contactless and kept local.
You can make online orders and arrangements through local supermarkets and their Priority Assistance service.
The Student Volunteer Army have a Grocery Delivery Service. Orders can be made for groceries with deliveries within 48 hours (usually the following morning). Visit www.shop.sva.org.nz to place your order or call 0800 005 902 to order via the phone.