Saturday, November 27

New isolation rules that cut food support to families

Covid-19’s new isolation rules are preventing struggling families from picking up food donations, social services say.

Food packages at BBM HQ in Manukau.

File photo.
Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

A new Section 70 notice was introduced last week under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act.

Now, visitors to locations of interest not only have to isolate themselves awaiting a negative test on day five, but so does their entire home.

This means that visiting food banks is off the table.

South Seas Healthcare CEO Silao Vaisola-Sefo told RNZ that in homes where no one was allowed out, hungry people faced difficult decisions.

“If they isolate themselves at home for any period, there is really no one to give them food. So they have to go out to get that support … So we are looking for ways to safely support them so they don’t have We have to leave their homes, but, as you can imagine, we are very pressured. “

Vaisola-Sefo said the need was most intense in this shutdown as families were recovering from job losses, financial burdens and school disruptions from last year when the outbreak occurred.

VisionWest Community Trust CEO Lisa Woolley has seen households in a similar dilemma in West Auckland.

They cannot go to the trust food supply service even when the closets are empty.

“We have schools around us and only general areas [of interest] around Glen Eden, “he said.

“So we are seeing significant numbers of people now in self-isolation and then trying to access food. That is having a huge impact on people.”

Auckland City Missionary Helen Robinson said that in some cases neighbors or family at large were helping people obtain food from mission distribution sites or supermarkets.

But there are over 300 locations of interest in Auckland, Coromandel and Wellington, and counting.

Robinson was well aware of the growing number of connected families and roommates.

“There are several of our staff who have been to locations of interest or have been in a household with people in locations of interest. So every day, when you add another large number of locations, we just take a deep breath and just look. how that will affect us. “

Some support services are managing to safely deliver needs to Alert Level 4 properties.

Ngāti Tamaoho Trust President Tori Ngātaki (Ngāti Tamaoho, Ngāti Āmaru, Ngāti Maniapoto, Tūhoe) said that families were completing online surveys listing what they needed, and that the trust was bringing it to them.

But, unlike the last blockade, there are no socially estranged conversations during the stops.

“We leave the boxes at their doorstep, we leave and then we wait until we are in the vehicles and then our kaumātua pick up their kai boxes,” he said.

Tori Ngātaki said that the Tāmaki-based iwi trusts were coming together to support all the whānau in the city with kai, regardless of whether their marae were in or out of the city.

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