There's plenty of care in the care parcels Ngā Kākano Foundation has been distributing through the greater Te Puke area.

Charles and Mona Wilson, both in their 70s, have been receiving the weekly parcels that contain meals, baking, health advice, hand sanitiser, gloves and masks.

''I love them,'' says Mona. ''There's always something different and always something in there that you really need and the meals from [The Daily] cafe are wonderful.''

Recipes have been included in the packages.


''I've kept all the recipes too and I intend to do those.''

She has made Anzac biscuits from one of the recipes, and a sausage casserole.

''I'm waiting to do the Thai chicken curry,'' she says.

One of the most recent packages included sugar-free beetroot brownies - ideal for Mona who is pre-diabetic. She says with the recipe that came with them, she will be making some more.

''That's next on my agenda.''

Charles says the beetroot brownies have been among his favourite things from any of the care packages.

''We've had three [packages] so far. We really appreciate them, they've been damned good,'' he says.

''It all helps and everything [Ngā Kākano Foundation] have done has been of great help and it is always nice to see the people from Ngā Kākano because they are such nice people.''


Mona also gets a weekly health check phone call.

''Even when we go down there for flu shots or anything, there are always hellos and hugs [before lockdown] and all that sort of thing.''

Things have changed little for Charles and Mona under alert level 3, but the relaxation of the rules means they have been able to include his grandson and his children into their bubble.

''We've opened our bubble to them because we've been missing their cuddles,'' says Charles.

Ngā Kākano Foundation is a health and community service provider. It has been distributing around 200 care parcels each week of the lockdown in collaboration with Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective, The Daily Cafe, EmpowermentNZ, Colab French's Farm and last week by Trevelyan's, Eastpack and Seeka.

Doris Breden is another resident who has been receiving care parcels, and is very grateful to Ngā Kākano Foundation.

"They are my family and have been for the past 30 years,'' she says.

''They never judge and are always there to support me - just take how they are even reaching out and looking after me now with the phone check-ins and these wonderful care packages. I have used everything in them.''