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Government approves $30 million support package

Emma Olsen
Salvation Army Foodbank
Salvation Army Foodbank  Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory - Facebook

The Government has approved a further $30 million to meet immediate welfare and food security for New Zealanders

The support package will be used to help Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups in delivering food and welfare assistance to New Zealanders in need during COVID-19.

Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said the package would include bolstering food parcels and other household goods, as well as providing upfront funding to local food banks, community food organisations, and other welfare providers.

Funds will also be used to help with emergency accommodation until temporary housing can be organised through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment service. 

"We are aware of the urgent need for those who require immediate assistance and as a Government are committed to meet it. 

"This additional funding will ensure local authorities and CDEM Groups will be well placed to increase immediate COVID-19 related welfare support through multiple channels," said Henare.

The Government made an initial $27 million investment on March 26 to support vulnerable groups during lockdown.

"Moving to Alert Level three next Tuesday is the best decision for livelihoods, and New Zealanders helped us get there. In turn, we will support those who need assistance."

The National Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry for Social Development are working together to support CDEM Groups to implement the package. 

A spokesperson from Auckland City Mission said it was in full support of the Government's $30 million relief package and looking forward to seeing how it works out because they were seeing unprecedented demand for food.