Red Cross is bringing a sense of hope and comfort to Northlanders adversely impacted by Covid-19, donating parcels filled with essential items including groceries and hygiene products.
Northland will receive 328 of the 2760 iconic parcels to be distributed throughout New Zealand that were originally created as a way to send food and clothing to prisoners of war overseas.
Their distribution is an extension to Red Cross's initial pandemic response when 3700 parcels were given to vulnerable communities supported through its essential services.
These included Meals on Wheels recipients and former refugee families.
In Northland, 140 parcels will be given in Paihia, Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Kaeo and Kerikeri and another 118 in Kaitaia this week.
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A further 70 will be distributed in Whangārei through support agencies such as Soul Food, budgeting services and Arataki Ministries — a non-government organisation that supports people with mental illness.
Parcels include a fleece blanket, gloves, masks, toilet paper, tissues, moisturiser, Glen 20 disinfectant, liquid soap and hand sanitiser, laundry powder, Air New Zealand's kia ora magazine, biscuits, chocolate, Milo, tea and L'Oreal hair products.
"We're hoping our Red Cross parcels will remind people that they are valued and cared for, and alleviate some of the stress they may be feeling at this time by giving them essential goods," New Zealand Red Cross general manager humanitarian development Shaun Greaves said.
He said Red Cross's experience responding to disasters around the country showed the importance of being present to support communities, long after the initial shakes, floods, fires, and lockdowns.
"As the impact of the pandemic is still being greatly felt by Kiwi families, our goal remains the same – through these Red Cross parcels, we want to bring 'hope in a box' for people in need during Covid-19."
Greaves thanked the generous business and community partners for their donation.