Coronavirus: New Plymouth supermarket owner gives free milk and bread to people struggling

A New Plymouth supermarket owner has stepped up to help those in need amid the COVID-19 crisis, offering bread and milk to people who are struggling.

Belt Rd Supermarket announced in a Facebook post on Monday they were willing to help anyone and urged people to reach out.

"If ANYONE is not working/not getting an income due to COVID19 and runs out of food, or times are just tough... please don't go to sleep with an empty stomach," owner Rohit Vaddem said in the post.

"Don't be afraid or embarrassed to send us a private message or text.

"I will be more than happy to share whatever I have. Even just for a loaf of bread or milk."

According to Vaddem, many people have thanked him for his generosity and for staying open during the crisis, Stuff reports.

He said anyone in the area needing essentials can get in contact.

On Thursday, Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly said the COVID-19 pandemic had brought about a new group of people vulnerable to poverty.

Five people from the mission had been answering calls from people needing food grants for the past five weeks, he told the Epidemic Response Committee.

"It's so sad - [it's] people who in their life have never had to put their hand out or reach out for assistance.

"Food is a fundamental human right. We're fortunate to have the food in this country - we have it here.

"We've just got to make sure that our systems are in place to ensure that the food that we have can go to the right people in the right place at the right time."