Auckland Council teams up with City Mission to feed homeless during COVID-19 crisis

You might be finding it a challenge to stay at home but it's tougher for those who are sleeping rough.

Which is why Auckland Council is stepping up to give the City Mission a helping hand to feed the homeless.

"They are perhaps the highest, some of the highest-risk people in our community," says Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly.

Food is the number one priority so Auckland Council staff have teamed up with the City Mission to create meal packs for the most vulnerable.

"We've got 20 members of our staff producing 400 meals a day, seven days a week for the most vulnerable people in our society, the homeless and those in real financial hardship," Auckland Mayor Phil Goff told Newshub.

Currently unable to offer communal dining, the Council is packaging up takeaway bags with enough food for one person for a day.

"We give them a sweet, a savoury, a salad, a roll, some fruit and something to eat it with," Auckland Council catering operations manager Gray Payne says.

"That gives them something to eat throughout the day which is reasonably balanced."

They're boxed up and delivered to the City Mission to be handed out those in need, helping to keep essential contact.

"And as they're getting their meal, there's a nurse on standby also able to monitor just some aspects of their health," Farrelly says.

Anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms will be tested. Then there's the challenge of shelter.

"Quite a large number of our street homeless in Auckland are now in motels in the last couple of days which is great, but it's also placing extra demands on us because these people need support in their motels," Farrelly says.

But at least when people are told to stay home, they now have somewhere to go.