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ECC Helping to Roll out Welfare Assistance

30 Apr 2020

ECC Helping to Roll out Welfare Assistance

The nation may have moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 but it hasn’t lessened the demand for welfare assistance across the rohe.

In the last three days alone, the Gisborne District Council’s Emergency Coordination Centre has had another 44 kai parcel referrals, with six more going to other organisations. Those are on top of the 240-plus that are already in the system. That equates to 472 adults and 367 children over 239 households.

It’s been a real team effort to get those necessities out to those who need them so much. The ECC assistance packs come on the back of other initiatives by iwi, the House of Breakthrough, the Jesus Christ Repentance Church and other organisations who have all rallied to help people.

Fifteen ECC people continue to be involved in unloading the Bidfood food trucks that come up from Hawke’s Bay laden with food and other essentials to be then distributed to households around the Tairāwhiti area.

Iwi coordinators have stepped in to help deliver the care parcels to individual households. Many have worked weekends to make sure that families could have kai on their tables.

“The feedback we get is amazing,” said ECC’s Wiremu Tamati. “People are so appreciative and pleasantly surprised at the amount of kai provided.”

Those packs include fresh fruit and vegetables, pantry staples and meat. There are also cleaning packs, animal food packages, and hygiene and sanitary goods. Welfare assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the responsibilities of ECC and funded by Central Government.

Group controller Dave Wilson says ensuring the needs of the community are met during a time like this is the priority.

“We are here to make sure people get the help they need. All sorts of people have contacted us through the Council 0800 number for help and for a wide range of reasons.”

Some are elderly and simply can’t leave their homes, while others are large whanau groups in desperate need of food.

If you are needing assistance please contact Council’s customer service desk on 0800 653 800.  You’ll be asked questions to help determine the type of assistance needed based on the national COVID-19 pandemic criteria.