Coles is working with the Victorian Government to donate fresh food and groceries to thousands of residents impacted by coronavirus lockdowns.
Due to the surge in cases, 36 Melbourne suburbs and nine public housing facilities are restricted from leaving their homes in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
To help the more than 3,000 residents living in the housing towers, who are not allowed to leave for any reason, Coles is donating food essentials to families in need.
The supermarket chain has repurposed its Coburg store as a pop-up fulfilment centre, where staff will pack 1,000 boxes with fresh produce, bread, dairy products, including milk, fresh meat, poultry and meat substitutes.
Another 1,000 boxes have already been packed with groceries like cereal, pasta, tinned food, biscuits and toilet paper, which are already on their way to distribution points, a Coles spokesperson said.
Each box has enough food to feed a family of four for three days. They also include forms for residents to request supplies for a later date.
Coles Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells said the first deliveries would begin on Monday night.
“We’ll continue to work with the Victorian government to provide essentials to the residents of these buildings for as long as they need,” he said,
The residents living in the more than 1,300 public housing apartments in North Melbourne and Flemington were placed on hard lockdown on Saturday after 27 people in the towers tested positive.
Police swarmed the estates, blocking driveways and doorways and barring people from leaving.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the towers have a high risk of community transmission because of "patterns of movement, friendship groups, family groups” and many communal spaces.
On Monday, it was announced there have been more than 50 confirmed cases linked to the towers.
Initially, it was stated the buildings would be under lockdown for five days, however, a four-page letter from Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen that stated residents would be in lockdown for 14 days.
Monday marked the ‘worst’ day for Victoria since the start of the pandemic, confirming 127 cases in just 24 hours and two deaths.
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