Pasifika social providers run off their feet as Covid outbreak grows

Source: 1News

Pasifika social providers are run off their feet as food demands and the numbers of cases and close contacts grows - forcing hundreds of families to self-isolate without access to food.

Along with this, several Covid-infected patients have been forced to self-isolate at home, sometimes in crowded households due to limited quarantine specialist staff.

At Buttabean Motivation Foodbank, Dave ‘Buttabean’ Letele told 1 NEWS many families are in dire straits.

“One of the most heart-breaking things I’ve seen is we are getting an email that our friends are rifling through rubbish looking for food and that literally broke my heart.”

Letele’s foodbank are able to help 200 families a day with social provider The Fono home delivering supplies to families unable to leave their home.

The Fono delivers to 100 families who are close contacts and so self-isolating at home but they’re also delivering to 83 patients who are Covid-positive and in a quarantine facility.

On top of that, there are many more families in need with The Fono also having 15 Covid-positive clients forced to self-isolate at home.

Such clients are meant to be in a room on their own, but that’s hard when there's multigenerational living and lack of space.

They're on a waiting list because of the influx of cases and lack of specialist staff to care for them, but Jacinda Ardern announced on Friday another 200 rooms are now available to ease the strain.

Back at home base, The Fono staff are so stretched, local police are helping out.

Supplies are also an issue with frontline staff having to go from supermarket to supermarket to buy supplies because bulk ordering isn’t available.

“We're just asking for support and in terms of providing an avenue for us to place these orders so we are able to supply our families,” The Fono’s Jennifer Tupou told 1 NEWS.

“Our families are growing by the day.”