Aucklanders struggling to get by during the lockdown can from tomorrow apply to Auckland Council for a parcel of food and basic necessities.
A distribution centre is currently being set up with staff being trained in the health and safety provisions for warehouse work.
And from 7am tomorrow, 40 council staff will take calls from those seeking emergency support and start processing applications.
Anyone who meets the government's eligibility criteria will be couriered a welfare parcel containing food like pasta and rice, tinned vegetables and meats and basic toiletries.
Mayor Phil Goff said he expected the first lot of parcels to be sent out by the end of the week.
"While most Aucklanders are continuing to shop normally for their essential products, there are a small number of people facing real hardship and who need greater support.
"Through this programme, we can ensure that nobody in our community goes hungry, and that the staple supplies they rely on are available to them."
He said the council's call centre staff currently have capacity to take on extra duties due to the lockdown.
- If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre
"As the Covid-19 situation develops, we will look at more ways to utilise council staff who may be able to be redeployed.
"We will also be working with local foodbanks to see how we can assist them to meet demand from people facing financial hardship."
If you are unable to afford groceries or are in self-isolation with no access to other support networks, you can phone Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, every day from Wednesday, 1 April.
Anyone needing urgent assistance in the meantime can phone Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 00.