Courage and initiative Generosity People

Pulling together


People pulling together rather than apart during a crisis is evident as Dunedin organisations and business collaborate to support struggling families.

Boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables are being provided and for the past two months, many food parcels and thousands of hygiene packs have been delivered.

While the effects of the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic are not yet fully known, Rock Solid Manager Kristin Jack says there have been some positive aspects, as during a crisis people tend to pull together rather than apart.

People are looking out for each other and after each other; genuinely trying to practise kindness.”


Rock Solid works with the southern Dunedin community and although its youth mentoring has continued online and by phone, activities such as camps haven’t yet resumed because large gatherings have been banned until May 29.

Kristin says his team was pondering how to bless the community and adopted an idea from the South Dunedin Seedlings Project, which had donated fresh food.

Using donations, Rock Solid buys $30 boxes of fruit and vegetables from a local business, Veggie Boys, which delivers these to families which are finding life tough.

Meeting a need: one of the Rock Solid-Veggie Boys boxes. Photo: supplied

Two boxes have been dropped off and 10 were given to the Corstorphine Community Hub to distribute.

The boxes are a good solution for those who are immune-compromised or for other reasons can’t do their shopping while there is a risk of catching the sometimes deadly virus.

“We also think this is a great way to support a wonderful local business and to encourage healthy eating.”

Kristin says Veggie Boys has been generous in its provision of the boxes. Rock Solid views this as a way of responding to the crisis, and deliveries will continue as long as demand and funds exist, although it’s unlikely the organisation will be able to maintain this long-term.

Corstorphine Community

The Corstorphine Community Hub Chairperson, Mama Taana, says it hasn’t stopped functioning during the Covid-19 crisis.

On weekdays for the past two months, two Hub staff have worked from 9am to 5 or 6pm delivering KiwiHarvest food parcels to whānau in Corstorphine and beyond.

The pair has worn personal protective equipment and during the March 26-May 13 household quarantining, could only leave parcels outside homes.

The Corstorphine Community Hub crew with kai. Clockwise from bottom left: Mere Jouanides, Moana Taana, Mama Taana and Dale Pene-Smith with Kyrah-Maree Wilson. Photo: supplied

She describes the team’s work as “really, really awesome” and says the food has helped many families. Now locals can visit the Hub to collect these parcels, however this is being done carefully to observe safety guidelines.

In addition, agencies including the Hub, Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora and Te Roopu Tautoko Ki Te Tonga have collaborated to supply 2500 hygiene packs containing items such as soap, shampoo, toilet paper, laundry powder, face masks and protective gloves.

The need continues as workers are made redundant and require extra food support.

Our numbers are increasing…but we’ve got it, we do what we can to help support our whānau,” Mama says.


On days when the Hub can’t provide food parcels, it liaises with the Salvation Army to connect people with resources.

“I think it’s one of those things, that we love playing Santa. It’s that giving back to the community and making sure they’re safe.”

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For further information:

To donate to the Rock Solid-Veggie Boys boxes

Corstorphine Community Hub

If you’d like to talk about any issues raised in this article, free call or text 1737 any time


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