New Zealand’s largest indoor stadium has been transformed into a food bank to help feed thousands of households going hungry during the lockdown.

Auckland Council has had 3000 requests for help since announcing last week that it would be providing emergency food parcels on behalf of the government. The council has now set-up a food distribution centre at Spark Arena to keep up with demand.

Anyone who is unable to go to the supermarket, or is suffering financial hardship as a result of the lockdown, is eligible for the food parcels, which are being couriered to people’s homes.

The government is covering the cost of the food, while Auckland Council is operating the contact centre to respond to calls and coordinating the supply, packaging and delivery of food.

“We are proud to have been able to transform our Arena space into a hub for good, and to support our local Auckland community during these uncertain times,” wrote Spark Arena on its Facebook page.

“If you are struggling to afford groceries or are in self-isolation with no access to support networks, you can phone Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 96 between 7AM – 7PM, 7 days a week to receive one of these food parcels hand packed with aroha by our staff.”