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Volunteering has a key role to play, now more than ever, as communities and neighbourhoods throughout the Waikato come to grips with what will be our new "normal" for the weeks that lie ahead.

Volunteering Waikato say that as we hunker down as a nation to combat the effects of the global pandemic it is starting to see the emergence of new opportunities for people to volunteer – and it is very encouraging to see people looking for ways to collaborate and respond to these opportunities.

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A Volunteering Waikato statement says: "Organisations are having to reinvent the way they deliver services and in many cases are having to create volunteer roles that have never existed before."

There is much work being done to ensure the necessary collaboration occurs and that good procedures are followed so that both volunteers and organisations are safeguarded through this process.

"This rapid evolving and redesigning of how the community sector works is a reflection of how agile community organisations are in responding to arising need,"

People who wish to help and get involved are reaching out to find ways to do this and it is important that efforts are coordinated but also robust and effective.

Volunteering Waikato is starting to see many specific Covid-19 volunteer role listings on its website and is also experiencing large numbers of people registering to help.

"If your organisation requires assistance, please contact us so we can ensure the right people are matched to the right opportunities.

"Collectively we can support each other and make sure everyone gets the help they need. Visit www.volunteeringwaikato.org.nz

Seeking information on community food providers

Community Waikato, The Wise Group, Kaivolution, Hamilton City Council and DIA are working with Community organisations to ensure food will reach those who need it at this time.

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Marketing and Communications Manager Kim Cable says: "While we know many of the community food providers, including foodbanks, community meals and community food places (such as Kaivolution), we need help to identify all community food providers throughout the whole Waikato region.

Kaivolution and Waikato Food Inc are bringing together chefs, commercial kitchens and rescued or backyard surplus produce for redistribution to crisis services. Photo / File
Kaivolution and Waikato Food Inc are bringing together chefs, commercial kitchens and rescued or backyard surplus produce for redistribution to crisis services. Photo / File

Kaivolution and Waikato Food Inc are bringing together chefs, commercial kitchens and rescued or backyard surplus produce for redistribution to crisis services by cooking meals to be frozen for distribution as needed.

Wise group is also supporting this project by mapping and identifying where the gaps now exist.

"Our aim is to support the efforts of Civil Defence and other Emergency Community Services such as Foodbanks and Social Service Organisations to ensure that vulnerable and unwell people in our communities receive meals," Kim says

If you are a community food provider, or know of any in your area please email the details to kim@communitywaikato.org.nz

All community food providers will be contacted soon to discuss the service you provide, and what needs you may have.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website