200,000 pots of honey to be given to Kiwi families struggling in wake of COVID-19

Fifty tonnes of honey will be donated.
Fifty tonnes of honey will be donated. Photo credit: Manuka Doctor

Families around New Zealand struggling in the wake of COVID-19 are set to receive a sweet care package in the form of wild flora honey.

Fifty tonnes of the sweet spread - a total of 200,000 pots - will be donated by Manuka Doctor and distributed to local community groups and charities by national food rescue service KiwiHarvest. 

The move comes as foodbanks have been overwhelmed in recent weeks, with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic causing a spike in the number of those needing assistance. 

Liz Kiriona, co-founder of RāWiri Community House in south Auckland, said the honey would be added to their family-sized food parcels.

"Since the end of March, we've handed out over 1000 food parcels," Kiriona said. 

"Honey is liquid gold as we never receive anything like this - especially coming into winter with its well-known wellbeing properties."

The honey will first be distributed in Auckland, before being sent to other regions.

"Although we have moved out of lockdown, food insecurity is still a significant problem across the country," said Gavin Findlay, chief executive of KiwiHarvest. 

"Food banks and community groups continue to receive requests for assistance as many Kiwis are still struggling to provide the basics for their families."

Between March and May, KiwiHarvest distributed a total of 434,000kgs of food to those in need, an increase of 60 percent from the same time last year.

The organisation distributed 171,000kg in April, up from 98,000kg in February.

Manuka Doctor's director Nicola Macfarlane said the company was encouraging other Kiwi businesses in a position to do so to also support the local community.