Pasifika Futures Urgent Response Team – consistent support in uncertain times

As we complete 12 weeks of Alert Level restrictions, Pasifika Futures (PFL) – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families and their national network of partners have supported families across New Zealand with over 48,240 support packages.

Since the beginning of the Delta outbreak, PFL has responded to the needs of Pacific families, with 25,305 families receiving supported which equates to 112,403 Pacific individuals or 29% of the total Pacific population.

As part of this immediate response, especially in the Auckland region, PFL set up an Urgent Response Team to mobilize support for urgent referrals that they receive.

The Urgent Response Team alone have responded to 5,561 urgent referrals, delivering packages to 18,683 Pacific individuals.

PFL’s Covid-19 Support Lead, Christina Isaia, is helping coordinate the Urgent Response Team through the lockdown period.

“The Urgent Response team was set up so we could deliver parcels quickly and essentially on the same day for our Pacific families in need. We have a team of 11, made up of our admin team, our drivers and support workers.

We get referrals from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service as well as referrals from our partners.”

She says there are a range of situations where the Urgent Response team is mobilized.

“We deliver packages to families who have been at locations of interest and as a result are self isolating at home, where they may not have the means for click and collect shopping.

There are also situations where families are unable to work or have lost their jobs so are in need of immediate food support.”

The support packages provided by PFL contain canned goods, cereal, treats, hygiene products, as well as fresh meat. Also included are potatoes, kumara, carrots, washing powder, bread, milk, margarine and toilet paper.

Mr Lavi Vete and his family received a support package delivered by the PFL Urgent Response team when they were in self-isolation.

“We were self-isolating at home back when there was a positive case at McAuley High School. My sister is a student there, but also a few of us were self-isolating anyway because we were at other locations of interest.”

Mr Vete says he and his family were not too concerned at first but as the days in isolation went on, he started to get a little worried.

“There’s 8 of us in my household so food goes quite fast. We got a food package from Pasifika Futures and it was honestly a blessing.

Even though we didn’t ask for it, it was nice that the support was there for families. Being a large household, the food definitely helped take away some of the stress around our food lasting in isolation.

My family and I were really grateful. I think our people should be comforted knowing that organizations like Pasifika Futures are out there doing their thing to help the community.”

Many families have sent in messages of thanks for the support provided by PFL. Brandon Manukia comes from a household of ten and says the support packages were a blessing to his family.

“Thank you so much for your generosity for the food parcels and food bags with family essentials. My family is very grateful and blessed for your ongoing support for the last couple of weeks during lockdown in this pandemic situation. Just because of you and your organization, we have been able to provide a properly balanced diet for my entire household.”

#pmafamily #pmaunite

Date: Friday 12 November 2021