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Flat out...Arowhenua Whanua Services has been flat our since the Covid-19 crisis began. Some of the busy workers are, back row from left, Maria Parish, Melanie Hohaia, and Lisa Donaldson. Front (from left) are Kathy Campbell and Jo Fortune. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

Arowhenua Whanau Services (AWS) has been keeping in close contact with its clients and other vulnerable people since the Covid-19 crisis began.

“We started with 2500 people, ringing them, then dropped down to 1000, then 500. Now it’s about 100,” AWS kaiwhakahaere Maria Parish said.

“We check they are OK and find out if they have enough kai and ask how they are managing their isolation.”

A total of 500 food and hygiene packs provided through funds from Christchurch organisation Te Putahitanga were organised and delivered from the Arowhenua marae to kaumatua as well as single mums and fathers and others.

More than 330 boxes of food had also been delivered.

“We are not a food bank but we received funding through Te Puni Kokiri and also got donations from Family Works and City Harvest/Foodbank Canterbury.”

Flu vaccinations had also been given to 81 people by Tuesday.

“We’ve been working tirelessly to help and be available for the community,” Mrs Parish said.

On Saturday a Maori winter wellness hui would be held.

“It will be a drive-through and Maori will be able to get kai, a box of firewood and a flu vaccination.”

People would have to stay in their vehicles outside the Arowhenua marae in Huirapa Rd and drive from station to station, Mrs Parish said. The hui would run from 10am to 2pm.