<strong>Going the extra mile to get essentials to isolated areas</strong>

Going the extra mile to get essentials to isolated areas

Foodstuffs’ focus right now is on getting essentials to isolated areas, re-opening and replenishing stores.

Their message to North Islanders is to continue to buy what you need.

Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs North Island says: “As we see the horrific impact of this event across the North Island our thoughts are with the families of the people who’ve lost their lives due to Cyclone Gabrielle, those who’ve lost their homes and property and those who aren’t able to reach their families and loved ones.  

“There was advanced warning of the cyclone, and our teams used the time to prepare by getting more stock into stores ahead of the extreme weather, which means we went into the event in as good a shape as we could hope to be.   

“Today our teams are switching from full time crisis management to a combination of crisis management and recovery.  We have a focus on getting essentials to communities that haven’t had a delivery for a couple of days and reopening and replenishing our stores where we can make deliveries.  

“As of midday, Wednesday 15 February, we have two New Worlds and 17 Four Squares unable to trade. A store might be closed because there’s no power, team members can’t get in to run the store, there’s flood damage, or Civil Defence has asked us to temporarily close until it’s safe to open. Thankfully most of these stores are in communities where there is another local option where people can get to for groceries. 

“Our heroic drivers and our supplier partners are doing their best to safely get their deliveries to where they need to be nationwide, and we ask that customers in North Island only buy what they need for a couple of days and customers in South Island continue to shop as they normally do.  

“The current weather conditions will mean there may be some NZ produce grown in North Island that is affected and there will be delays in shipping product between the North and South Island, but it’s currently too early to tell how this will affect availability.  Some of our suppliers who manufacture products have also been having challenges. We ask customers to be understanding if their first choice isn’t available when they shop. 

“The community of Wairoa in Hawkes Bay has been hard hit and there’s currently no access by road. Our New World there is the only full-service supermarket in town, we’ve made contact with our local owner operator and team this morning and everyone’s OK. The store is open and has enough stock, as long as everyone only buys what they need. Our priority today is on getting essentials to this community by other means, including helicopter, plane, or by sea.  

“Other communities we’re focused on getting supplies to are East Cape and Coromandel. Tairua in particular, and our teams are looking at alternative ways to get stock in, other than by road.    

“A huge shout out to our incredible teams who continue to go the extra mile every hour, while we make sure we get essentials to New Zealanders and recover from the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle,” says Quin.

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