Over 600 food boxes were distributed by Mataatua Marae and community groups to vulnerable families in Papakura during Level two.
Sports clubs and churches helped pack and distribute the food boxes, which included essential items such as nappies and other soft foods for children.
Mataatua Marae Deputy Chairperson, Baari Mio applied for the boxes through Auckland Council & the Civil Defence and Emergency Management, and used key community groups to get the food parcels distributed.
“We sent boxes to Papakura rugby and netball club, a local Tongan church, we used the Hauora Services database, a private facebook group and teachers to reach out to families who needed kai,” says Baari.
“There’s a misconception that if people aren’t asking for help, they don’t need it. So, we wanted to find those people through our community links,” she says.
Healthy Families South Auckland’s Kai Ārahi Māori, Mason Ngawhika and Indigenous Systems Lead, Anaru Ah Kew were both on-hand to help distribute the kai parcels.
“There is still that whakamā (shame) for people [who get the packs], but mostly people are just grateful to have received a box of kai,” says Mason.
“The key thing we are noticing is the high percentage of Pasifika also needing help,” he says..
Baari hopes the Marae initiative reaches all whānau who are struggling.
“Who are we to discriminate against who needs kai? Mataatua will continue to use joint collaboration to help our community.”
In need of assistance? Here are some useful information: https://preparepacific.nz/resources/food-bank/