With phone orders and requests getting to much for them, the team at New World Kapiti in Paraparaumu were having to turn away some of their most vulnerable customers as lockdown commenced last week.

The solution? A 'Lockdown Grocery Pack' for the elderly.

"We know so many of our elderly are struggling to get the essential groceries they need at this time," New World Kāpiti owners and operators Ali and Clay Young said.

"Our online capacity is completely maxed out at the moment, but we don't want anyone to go without, so have developed a set 'Lockdown Grocery Pack' that we would like to offer for our elderly customers."

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"We've always had a number of elderly customers ringing us and asking us to do phone orders, but once everyone else started doing it we just got completely maxed out," Ali said.

A grocery pack put together by New World Kapiti.
A grocery pack put together by New World Kapiti.

"We found we just couldn't help them and had to start turning them away which was awful so our phone and online teams came together and came up with this idea to fill the gap within the capacity we have.

The packs cost $50 and will all be the same, with no substitutions, although small changes will be made each week to give customers some variety.

At the moment it is only open to the elderly.

"If we have the capacity we would love to open it up wider to other people who may be vulnerable and can't get out, but we will get through this week and then see if we can upscale it to do more."

The packs are made up of basics that aim to last through the week including eggs, sausages, ham, milk, bread, cans, tea, fruit, veg and biscuits.

"We might change one thing each week, it's a bit of a moving feast."

Delivery is direct to your door, each Tuesday and Thursday.

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Payment can be made by direct debit via online or by cheque, with direct debit payments required the day before to enable the transaction to go through.

"Pretty much all the elderly we deal with, if they don't have computers they have cheques so that is the next best option for us."

A mobile Eftpos unit is expected to arrive in the next few days which will also provide another option.

Orders can be made by calling the store on 04 298 0011, extension 710.

After a crazy few weeks Ali credited her team on their ability to adapt.

"This idea has been a team effort.

"Last week was a surreal experience but the team have adapted amazingly, they've been phenomenally fantastic.

"This week it's been a lot calmer in store and the customers have been great at waiting outside.

"All our shelves are starting to be replenished and in a few days we should be fully stocked again."

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