It's 8.30pm, light is fading across the hills, and Red Cross volunteers Doug Winter and Braidy Love are navigating the cracked roads around Kaikoura. In the back seat of their truck is a box filled with packets of food, powdered milk, bottled water and tea and coffee.

It's just the basics, but this box could be a lifesaver for people stranded in Kaikoura after Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

With road access into the town still cut off, getting in vital supplies has been difficult. Water, food and essentials like toilet paper are in short supply as authorities work to restore access to the township.

Red Cross Disaster Welfare and Support team members like Doug and Braidy have been dropping food parcels into houses around Kaikoura and the district since the earthquake hit. Even something as simple as food can be a real mood lifter during times of disaster.

"Even stuff like long life milk is great - just for people's sanity, just so we can have a cup of tea," one resident told Braidy during a visit. "Thank you for doing this."

Red Cross Kaikoura branch president Lorraine Diver, along with other members and volunteers from Takahanga Marae, are putting the parcels together with supplies from the Defence Force on the outskirts of town. Each parcel includes water and essential food items - including a few 'feel-good' items like lollies.

"We've done around 500 parcels over the last two days," Lorraine says. "We'll be doing more - it's all dependent on the supplies coming through."

Food is just one part of the emergency response. Offering emotional support is just as important.

Lorraine met one woman and her three young children whose house was damaged, and eventually red-stickered, following an aftershock.

"She went from having a home to being homeless. I brought her into Red Cross and all of a sudden, she had hope and she realised she wasn't alone."

The focus is now on making sure households in remote areas outside of the Kaikoura township have what they need. One hundred parcels are being put together and will be distributed to rural households today.

To help people affected by this week's earthquakes, please donate to Red Cross' November 2016 Earthquake appeal