Volunteers make sure community is fed during pandemic

There’s nothing like a crisis to bring out the best in people and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly seen so many awesome people rise to the occasion.

Judging by the queues at the supermarkets around the country, buying food and other essentials was a number one priority; thankfully most Kiwis understood the country was not going to run out of toilet paper.

There have been several people in Whaingaroa who jumped in and made sure our community was fed and care for.

Margaret Dillon is well-recognised in Raglan, she’s a keen photographer and is the lady behind the lens at most community events. Margaret also runs Feed the Kids at Raglan Area School providing food packs for teachers to distribute, making free morning tea toast and delicious $1 lunches. During lockdown, Margaret was one of the first to begin organising food parcels. Delivered with love, she travelled as far as Te Mata and Waitetuna, dropping off food and other essential items, including Easter eggs and lollies. As the cooler weather approaches, Margaret has also organised blankets to be washed and delivered to her for families in need.

Surfside Raglan Foodbank usually deliver around five food parcels a week but during the pandemic this rose to 20 -30 packs three times a week. The volunteers have gone from two hours twice a week to three full days a week to cope with the demand and this is expected to continue for a while yet.

Two stand-out workers Fiona Cutmore and Marion Wright, kept the foodbank wheels in motion during lockdown. Fiona packed food parcels during her free time and even now that she is back at work she continues to give as much time as she can in this role. Foodbank coordinator Marion is paid for a few hours a week but the increase in demand has seen her offer many more hours coordinating the referrals from various groups and agencies, organising the extra funding and the supply of food and other essential supplies. All this while being highly pregnant with her fourth child.

Lockdown has meant a bit of quiet on the real estate front but Ray White agent Julie Hanna volunteered her time to delivered groceries for Supervalue during lockdown. This service meant vulnerable people in the community could still be assured of their weekly shop without having to leave their homes.

Julie says loved delivering groceries to people in the community many of whom were over 70.
“It was just nice to see a smile on their faces and they were all super grateful. I love giving back to the community that has supported my business for the last 23 years.
Now that things are getting back to some sort of normal and Julie is able to sell houses again, she is missing her delivery round.

Janine Jackson