Throughout the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, many of us have been faced with long days at home practicing yoga and baking sourdough to pass the time.
That is not the case for an estimated 60,000 Kiwis working in the grocery sector, who have faced extra-long hours, health risks, a barrage of customer abuse, panic-buying and physical alterations, all to keep the country running. They've kept us stocked with toilet paper, food and in my case, a lot of wine.
Now Kiwis are being given the chance to say thanks with a new campaign seeking to reward these essential workers.
On Tuesday, Best Foods initiative 'Supermarket Heroes' launched, hoping to "champion those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty".
Kiwis can nominate their supermarket heroes on Facebook, sharing stories of how they've made an impact in their lives during this tricky time - whether it's a deserving colleague, family member or stand-out local supermarket employee.
One employee will win a weekend away at Taupo's luxe Huka Lodge (when lockdown lifts, of course) while four others will win a year's supply of Unilever products.
Head of Unilever NZ Matt Rigby says it's to thank those who have continually faced disgruntled customers and put in the extra work, throughout the $376 million (17 percent) increase in spend within the New Zealand food and grocery sector over the past month
"COVID-19 has seen an outpouring of support for New Zealand's frontline workers, particularly nurses and doctors. However, there has been one group who have gone largely unrecognised to date - our supermarket heroes," says Rigby.
"We wanted to find a way to recognise the essential workers that have been working tremendously hard and putting their health at risk every day to help the nation. Whether you have a friend or family member that works in the industry or appreciate the efforts of a staff member at your local supermarket, we want to hear about it."
You can find more information and nominate a supermarket employee on the official Facebook page.