Foodstuffs North Island answered a call for help from Vector to supply care packs to Aucklanders still without power

Monday, 16 April 2018

When Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs North Island, got a call from the senior team from Vector on Saturday night to ask for help, there was no hesitation. Vector had asked for up to 5,000 care packs to help brighten the lives of the Aucklanders who were still without power despite their best efforts.

Within 36 hours Chris and his team had cleared a huge space in the Roma Rd Distribution Centre, figured out what would work for pretty much every type of household, ordered it in and put the call out for some volunteers. By 3pm on Sunday afternoon 1,500 New World shopping bags were crammed with UHT milk, tinned salmon and tuna, crackers, tinned fruit and a few treats like Whittaker’s Jelly Tip chocolate and a few jet plane lollies, thanks to a hardy team of around 30 volunteers from Foodstuffs North Island. There’s more to come.

“We’ve all been there,” says Quin, “dealing with stuff like this is hard work. The storm was ferocious last Tuesday, and even some of our stores were affected by power outages, not to mention thousands of our own staff in the Auckland area and beyond. It’s times like these when Foodies people pull together to do the best for our customers and each other. We were really pleased we were able to help so quickly and that Vector could rely on us to bring a little light into fellow Aucklanders’ lives. We know they are going as fast as they can in very trying circumstances.”

Quin estimates that the 30 volunteers lifted 9 tonnes of product and walked 120 kms around the DC as they packed the bags. “There was certainly no need for a trip to the gym on Sunday,” he says. “We all got a bit of a workout, safely of course, but what we’re really stoked about is being able to help our fellow citizens.”

The New World gift bags will be delivered to Aucklanders by representatives from Vector over the coming days. Quin says, “It makes you think about the stuff we should all have on hand in the event of an emergency. Long life milk, canned goods, loo rolls and lots of shelf stable products are essentials – along with water, candles, matches, batteries and a few torches. Be prepared people!”