Access to food or essential items

We all need food and essential items such as medicine through Alert Level changes, so please do not try to go without.

Food delivery if you are sick or isolating

If you are sick, or cannot leave home to buy food or essential supplies, talk to your support networks like family, whānau, friends, and neighbours to see if they could deliver essential items to you.

Food delivery services

If you cannot access cooked food delivery services from the Ministry of Social Development, a District Health Board or ACC — for example Meals on Wheels, you can order food from supermarkets, bakeries, and uncooked food suppliers. These include subscription food boxes.

  • For subscription food boxes try My Food Bag or Hello Fresh.
  • For supermarket delivery contact your local Countdown or New World.

Subscription food boxes can only deliver uncooked food.

The Student Volunteer Army Grocery Delivery Service is available nationwide to people who are self-isolating or who have no other way to access food.


You can also use your supermarket’s click-and-collect service, and ask a local friend, family member or neighbour to drop off groceries for you.

Contact your local supermarket or dairy to find out if they are delivering groceries and how to order. Your supermarket may have reserved some priority slots for people who need to use online shopping.

Staying safe when getting food delivered

  • Deliveries should be contactless and kept local. 
  • If you are delivering supplies, remember to stay 2 metres apart and wear a face covering.
  • If you get your supplies delivered, remember to stay 2 metres away from those delivering them, wear a face covering and wash and sanitise your hands after you have put the supplies away.

Financial help to buy food

If you need financial help to buy food, Work and Income may be able to help.

Work and Income can provide assistance with urgent financial support and ongoing needs. You can apply for a main benefit online and check your eligibility for food assistance.

You can also use our financial support tool to see what support is available to you.

Use our financial support tool 

Food banks

If you need food, your local food bank may be able to help. 

Find a food bank | (external link)

If you cannot get food delivered

If you have tried and cannot access support through any of the options above, contact your local Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) Group.

Find your local civil defence group |  (external link)

If you need help getting essential supplies

If you need financial help to buy food, you may be able to get help through Work and Income. You do not need to be on a benefit to get help.

Work and Income can help with paying for food, accommodation costs, power and gas bills, heating and medical or dental costs.

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