Wellington, New Zealand – 6 October 2020

New Zealand Red Cross is providing 2,760 Red Cross Parcels to people adversely impacted by the global pandemic, bringing a sense of hope and comfort in what may be a difficult time for many.

Each parcel is filled with essential goods with a wellbeing focus to remind struggling families that they have not been forgotten, gifting them important products, including hygiene items, groceries, blankets and treats.

Red Cross Parcels have played a vital role in New Zealand's history. Originally created as a way to send food and clothing to prisoners of war overseas, these iconic care packages spread kindness and hope, providing comfort to those who need it most. 

With the support of major partner, AMI, as well as donations from Air New Zealand, L’Oréal, Reckitt Benckiser and CBRE, New Zealand Red Cross is gifting these parcels to support households feeling the impact of COVID-19.

“We know many families who were already in a difficult situation before COVID-19 are now struggling to meet their basic needs. We’re hoping our Red Cross Parcels will remind people that they are valued and cared for, and alleviate some of the stress they may be feeling at this time by giving them essential goods,” says Shaun Greaves, New Zealand Red Cross General Manager Humanitarian Development.

The distribution of the parcels comes as an extension to Red Cross’ initial COVID-19 response. Following the nationwide lockdown, 3,700 Red Cross Parcels were distributed to vulnerable communities supported by New Zealand Red Cross through its essential services. These included Meals on Wheels recipients and former refugee families who greatly appreciated the extra support.

“Our experience responding to many disasters around Aotearoa shows the importance of us being there to support communities long after the initial shakes, floods, fire or, in this case, lockdowns resulting from the pandemic. As the impact of the pandemic is still being greatly felt by Kiwi families, our goal remains the same – through these Red Cross Parcels, we want to bring ‘hope in a box’ for people in need during COVID-19. Thanks to our generous business and community partners, we are able to do just that,” says Mr Greaves.

New Zealand Red Cross is working alongside community groups across the country to identify and deliver to households who have been hit hard by COVID-19 and would benefit from receiving a Red Cross Parcels.

Parcels include a fleece blanket, gloves, masks, toilet paper, tissues, moisturiser, Glen 20 disinfectant, Dettol liquid soap and hand sanitiser, laundry powder, Air New Zealand’s Kia Ora Magazine, biscuits, chocolate, Milo, tea and L’Oréal hair products.

For interviews or more information

New Zealand Red Cross communications advisor, Elodie Berthe, 0274041691 or elodie.berthe@redcross.org.nz.