Early on in Alert Level 4 Manukau City Sunrise Rotary was aware that some families in their community were likely to be finding things tough during the current crisis where lockdown had restricted movement and, in many cases, suspended jobs affecting income. What the club wanted was to find a way to relieve some of the stresses those families were facing in outing food on the table.
The club’s solution came through one of their members, Pelu Leaupepetele who is the Principal of Kedgley Intermediate.
The club knew that the school was in a low decile area the club so asked Pelu if any of the school’s families needed a helping hand in the current crisis. By chance the school had just had a Trustees meeting on Zoom and had put a list together of more than 15 families at high risk – families struggling because they had no cars (transport), no wi-fi, limited funds etc.
Manukau City Sunrise Rotary’s first thought had been to give these families Countdown Vouchers, but as many of these families have no way of getting to the supermarket this was not practical.
The better alternative was for the school to use their local Countdown store (Mangere) and use the purchasing power of that relationship to get a substantial range of food and other essential items that then could be packed into boxes at the school.  This would ensure all the families got some food essentials, staples and the most important cleaning items to stay safe, items which because they are usually the most expensive on a shopping list, tend to be the last to be get purchased if at all.
Countdown Mangere receive the list from the school and packed the items ready for the school to collect.  As you can see from the photos, they school laid out the items ready for a ‘production line’ selection and packing into parcels for the families.  Strict hygiene and distancing practices were observed at all times starting with those now routine within Countdown stores through delivery to the families.
The school delivered the parcels themselves to those families in the most need which provided an effective way of checking they are doing OK with whole family at home and if necessary, further follow up could be arranged.
The project was supported by Manukau City Sunrise Rotary using one of their existing District Grants.  This was originally going to another worthy project but because of the immediate and serious need to support these families were able to change with the District Foundation Committee’s permission. The $2,000 of funds was a tremendous help to Kedgley Intermediate enabling them to purchase the groceries needed for the parcels.
PS:  the original project will not miss out in funding.