Covid-19: Student Volunteer Army desperate for help to distribute food parcels

Student volunteers in Auckland have been surprised by the number of orders for food parcels that are increasing due to the Covid-19 Delta outbreak.

Sam Johnson, chief executive of the Student Volunteer Army, sent out a “desperation email” on Friday afternoon recruiting volunteers to help deliver 200 food parcels for people in “dire situations”.

In the past couple of months, the Student Volunteer Army has delivered more than 3000 food parcels under the Covid-19 Welfare Support programme.

Last weekend Johnson saw the team deliver 117 parcels, which “is a lot” he said.

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Chief executive of Student Volunteer Army, Sam Johnson said 200 parcels “is a lot”. (File photo)


Chief executive of Student Volunteer Army, Sam Johnson said 200 parcels “is a lot”. (File photo)

This weekend, Student Volunteer Army is expected to deliver 200 parcels, worth upwards of $45,000. Johnson expects that number to grow.

“That is a lot, everyone is surprised at the number of orders that have come in.”

Johnson said the volunteers mainly serve people in retirement villages, elderly people and people with disabilities.

A lot of requests also come from large families with five to nine people in the house, often “with the kids with Covid”.

Apart from the food parcels, Johnson said they often get specific requests for families who usually do their laundry at laundromats and have got no one to help or nowhere to do their washing.

“We literally have been buying washing machines on TradeMe and dropping people off with a washing machine,” said Johnson.

Johnson said many of the requests are asking for paracetamol, cough medicine and baby products such as nappies and baby formula.

“It’s really sad, so when they [Covid-19 Welfare Support programme] asked, we sent out a desperation email.

“People in desperate situations are getting support, and that is the good thing.”

Johnson is asking anyone who would like to volunteer for a few hours on Saturday or Sunday morning to help people who are struggling with Covid-19 to sign up here.

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