Supporting our residents in lockdown

28 Aug, 2020
 
Staff preparing to deliver meals

The students in Akoranga Student Village and Wellesley Street Apartments are used to feeding themselves, but Alert levels 3 and 4 have been a little different.

To ensure the wellbeing and safety of our student residents, AUT decided to fund and deliver a residential free meal service for lunch and dinner throughout Level 3.

Group Director Student Services & Admin Joanna Scarbrough says, “it was an easy decision to make to ensure our student residents were well cared for during lockdown.”

AUT’s catering team have been preparing around 780 meals on-site every day. The meals are delivered to apartments by AUT Student Accommodation staff who complete a welfare check at the same time, following PPE requirements.

A variety of meals from Thai beef salad to Texas braised beans are served as a re-heatable lunch and dinner options, with all dietary requirements covered.

Village Manager WSA Stephanie Harris says that the roast meals are the biggest hit, with the rosemary roast lamb with vegetables and gravy even getting a shout out on their social media page. Curries are another favourite.

This is the second time this service has been provided, with staff delivering meals to students throughout alert level 4 earlier this year.

Stephanie says that students have responded really well to the service. “Some have said it’s helped with their routines, and that they look forward to the excitement of opening up their meal bags to see what the meals that day are.”

She adds that the service is important as it ensures student residents are getting healthy meals and limits the need for them to leave the student village.

“The daily food delivery gives the team a great chance to touch base with each resident, check-in with how they are managing and offer any support that might be needed.”

Students are also being supported during Alert Level 3 in other ways.  Continuing studies by remote learning during alert level 3 is not possible without the right equipment, so students can access free devices if they need them. A student financial assistance fund is also available to residents experiencing hardship during the alert levels.

The Accommodation team have specialist experience and qualifications to provide personal support and respond during a crisis. The residential life programme has been online to keep students entertained and safe within their apartment bubble.  Accommodation staff and security teams are always available on-site 24/7.

A special mention to staff members Stephanie Harris, Mark Bishara, Fraser Nicholas, Stuart Taavao-Matau, Misako Okawa, Miura Elikana, Leon O’Flynn, and the Residential Assistant team, who delivered the food to every apartment and provided residential support and engagement.

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