The Multicultural Council of Rangitīkei/Whanganui is lending a helping hand to people in need.

President Pushpa Prasad has collected 220 hot water bottles and 30 single electric blankets to give to ethnic communities and others in need in this Whanganui winter.

Prasad asked the Ministry of Social Development for money to help migrants who are in need and affected by the coronavirus pandemic. She was given $4500, and her thought was to at least make sure people can keep warm.

Word has gone out to leaders in Whanganui's ethnic communities, and requests are coming in. She has already given away 15 hot water bottles and six electric blankets.

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She also has vouchers that can be used to buy warm clothes.

Geeta Singh and Balwinder Kaur went to the Multicultural Council's base in Anzac Pde to get electric blankets and hot water bottles for members of the Indian community.

Others have been receiving help too.

"Initially we thought it would be only for migrants, but there are other people who need it and we are not turning anyone away," Prasad said.

She's now hearing of people on work visas and of international students who normally work part-time but cannot work at present. She has asked for another $4000 to help them.

Ethnic leaders can email the names of those in need to the council at info@whanganuimulticultural.co.nz.