Thousands of COVID-19 Support Packages have been delivered to Pacific families around New Zealand, providing much needed assistance at a trying time.
The latest data from the Pasifika Medical Association through Pasifika Futures – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families – shows a total of 7,497 families have received the packages, supporting 40,231 individuals.
This data also reveals almost 50 percent of families needed access to a support package due to loss of income, with 76 percent not able to meet essential needs and a further eight percent had an ill family member in their household.
Porirua-based health and addiction service The Taeaomanino Trust is one of 39 COVID-19 Support Package partners Pasifika Futures is working with to assemble and deliver packages to families.
The Taeaomanino Trust Chief Executive Officer Theresa Nimarota says due to the safety restrictions in place during lockdown the Trust decided to provide families with grocery vouchers.
They have so far delivered vouchers to 417 families in their region which extends just beyond greater Wellington.
“A number of the families that have come through this week are families who wouldn’t normally come to see us,” Theresa says.
“That means families who are usually able to manage their budget but now have not received any income during the lockdown.
“This is the trend we are starting to see.”
As well as delivering vouchers to families, Theresa’s team has also been making further enquires to see if support can be provided to them through various agencies.
“Our staff have also been doing check-ins with families – this is to see if they need further support with WINZ, medical, housing…all of that.
“We know there are people who have lost jobs, so we check if there is any kind of advocacy we can do, or can assist with getting some kind of advocacy service in place – those are the conversations that are happening.”
Pacific families are encouraged to contact a Whānau Ora provider if they need a COVID-19 Package of Support.