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UNICEF NZ and The Salvation Army partner to reach families in response to Covid-19

For the first time ever, UNICEF New Zealand is fundraising to support Kiwi children and families impacted by Covid-19.

For the first time ever, UNICEF New Zealand is fundraising to support Kiwi children and families impacted by Covid-19 (coronavirus). 

Today, UNICEF NZ and The Salvation Army have come together at this time of crisis in partnership with Countdown. Together they will reach hundreds of vulnerable New Zealand families with urgent food and hygiene supplies. 

UNICEF New Zealand Executive Director Vivien Maidaborn said the supplies would reach families and children who need them most. “With so many parents forced out of paid work, more children are going hungry than ever before,” she said. “Families are struggling to provide basic essentials like food and soap.” 

LINDA Jenkinson Chair of UNICEF NZ Board said this was the first time UNICEF New Zealand had launched an emergency appeal within New Zealand. “UNICEF responds to nearly 300 emergencies around the world every year,” she said. “But unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. The UNICEF by-line For Every Child applies here in NZ as much as anywhere else in the world.” 

Some projections estimate as many as 200,000 New Zealanders could lose their jobs during the level-four alert lockdown period, but the blow would be worse for those who were already struggling to put food on the table. 

UNICEF NZ has been partnering with schools in Onehunga, South Auckland since June 2019. Robyn Curry, who is the principal of Te Papapa School in Onehunga, said she was concerned for families living in poverty who were struggling even before this crisis. 

“If anything, this exposes the inequalities that were already there,” she said. “Now some parents have lost their jobs and can't afford food for their children. Many families can't even afford soap, and that’s the best way to stop this virus from spreading.” 

She urged New Zealanders to donate to the appeal. “Thank you New Zealand for getting behind families who really need your help.” 

The appeal includes three price points: a small family trolley for $30.49, a medium family trolley for $61.12 and a large family trolley for $91.14. Each trolley would include essential food supplies like canned goods, fruit and vegetables and hygiene supplies like soap and toothbrushes. 

Countdown will pack each trolley of goods and deliver them to a local Salvation Army Foodbank Hub. The supplies will then be distributed to families in that community. 

Zuru Toys’ founder Nick Mowbray had generously agreed to match fund the first $50,000 raised by UNICEF New Zealand for this vital work. UNICEF NZ is seeking other businesses to match donations as part of the appeal. 

Ms Maidaborn said this was a time for unity. “Right now children and families are counting on us. We urgently need your help.”