The foodbanks of Dannevirke's St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army, as essential services, will continue to operate throughout the covid-19 lockdown.

However, there will be changes to the way these services are delivered.

People will no longer be able to call in on Tuesdays and Fridays to collect food parcels from the Dannevirke Salvation Army in Allardice St.

Dannevirke Corps Officer Major Afolau Toluono said it was important that people needed to call 0800 725 678 for food parcel inquiries.

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The food will come from The Salvation Army's Palmerston North Hub and will be delivered to and distributed from The Salvation Army in Dannevirke.

St Vincent de Paul Dannevirke Conference President Bill Young says the service will be provided a little differently as there's no face-to-face contact.

"We have sent a memo to all the referral agencies in town that we would be accepting food-request emails up until 12 noon, but we will be asking for addresses and phone numbers."

He said where possible food parcels would be delivered the same day, generally between 3pm and 5pm.

"We will ring the people needing a food parcel to tell them that we are on our way and will leave it on their doorstep or at their gate."

He said there would be one person packing the food parcels and one person making the deliveries to minimise person-to-person contact.

"We want to maintain the continuity of the service but it will depend on the level of demand.

"We had a couple of requests last week and we have had some today," Young said.

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The foodbank generally delivered between five and 10 food parcels a week.

However, the delivery of supplies could be an issue.

"I've just put in a big order but it could take some time before we receive it," Young said.

The foodbank's store of supplies received a huge boost on Monday when it received a trolley of groceries donated by Dannevirke New World.

"New World owners Bruce and Kristy Jenkins have been marvellous to us, they have been a tremendous help. Through their donations we have been able to include food items that are a bit different and a bit extra."

Young said there had also been donations of fresh food from other sources and these were appreciated.

St Vincent de Paul volunteer Sue Flanagan, who received the donation from New World, said she felt there would be a higher demand for food parcels during the lockdown.

She said the way St Vincent de Paul operated as part of its Christian ministry was that when volunteers delivered food parcels they would enter a home and unpack the parcel.

"In doing that we could gauge whether there were other items the family might need, such as clothing for the children and we would be able to provide that extra help."

This would not now happen but Flanagan said she was keen to get back to volunteering.

"Perhaps it's the nurse in me that I have this need to look after other people. But the nurse in me also says we need to be obedient to knock this virus on the head."