Pleasantly surprised is the reaction of many as a response to the kindness of strangers. Hinemoa House Board member Graeme Sinclair had one such moment recently, which spawned a vege delivery effort.

"Early in the lockdown, I received a small vege pack from one of the workers at Woodhaven. Being a rather unemotive 55-year-old kiwi male, I was surprised at the feelings of joy I received from this simple but thoughtful act," he said.

It set in motion a train of thought that soon became a plan to get fresh veges to others in his community.

"The following morning I woke up with a simple diagram in my head, which showed three providers feeding names to a registration point, and a vegetable supply company providing produce to a single family bubble who packed it and delivered it.

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"There were two vehicles at the bottom of the diagram, showing two family bubbles involved in deliveries. Twenty or 40 packs were available for daily delivery.

"As a board member for Horowhenua Kids, Teens and Family Trust which operates Hinemoa House in Levin it was easy to gauge the need in relation to a lack of fresh vegetables and fruit due to families shopping budget not extending very far at this time.

"This was confirmed through my work as a Probation Officer and wife my wife's work with Horowhenua Family Support Services.

"Hinemoa house qualified as an 'Essential Service' as a charitable organisation operating a vegetable and food parcel delivery service under strict health and safety protocols."

Woodhaven Gardens in Levin were amazingly supportive of the idea and encouraged the venture as long as strict health and safety protocols were adhered to.

A family bubble was identified who had worked within the food sector and were willing to pick up the produce from a defined collection point and parcel the goods.

A second family bubble then helps the first family with daily deliveries. It is an effective 'closed' system that works very efficiently. Health and safety is paramount, including PPE use.

Word went out on the internet and social media ,and staff from The Ultimate Egg Company saw what was happening and decided to deliver 170 trays of eggs.

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"We are also considering whether potatoes and fruit could be included in the packs," said Sinclair.

He wants to stress that Hinemoa House vege deliveries supplement work done by organisations such as the Salvation Army Food Banks and it does not do grocery deliveries or packs.

"We are in communication with the local branch of the Salvation Army to ensure we do not overlap what they do."

The service is proving popular. In the first three days from placing the registration forms on Facebook and the Hinemoa House website, over 120 families from Levin have registered for a vege pack.

Sinclair said he regrets not being able to see the happy faces of those receiving the packs.
"Unfortunately I am not one of the essential workers, but I know that people are cared for in the community. I do however remember the feelings receiving my vege pack gave to me."

You can register via their website. Priority will be given to those who really need it and those referred by other organisations.

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