A Mount Maunganui business is offering free food to those frontline workers getting the Covid-19 vaccination.
Eze Feedz on Totara Street is part of the scheme which is giving back to port workers who are being immunised against the disease.
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board is helping to subsidise the meals which are valued at $15 each.
Jaz Hayward is the owner of the unmissable pink food house and believes it is a great incentive.
“The DHB approached us to see if we were willing to partner with them and I just thought it was a good way to support a small businesses like ours and to encourage those front line staff so they have the vaccine.”
With anxiety among some in the community surrounding the Covid vaccine, Jaz is hopeful the offer of some decent freshly made kai might ease the burden for those impacted.
“It is to show appreciation for them doing what they're doing, because it's not an easy decision,” she says.
“There's a lot of unknowns about it.
“It’s a scary thing for them to have to do and I'm appreciative of them and their decisions.”
The BOPDHB state that the food vouchers are a demonstration of hospitality and generosity to those workers currently being vaccinated.
“The Eze Feedz food vouchers are a demonstration of manaakitanga,” says BOPDHB incident controller Trevor Richardson.
“As Māori it is customary that hui are followed by a kai so, for our vaccinators and many port workers who are whānau Māori, this is not an unusual practice.
“In this instance, it was decided that a voucher system through the popular establishment Eze Feedz was the best solution for the kai we intended to serve to those being vaccinated.”
Vaccinated workers can grab a large seafood chowder and some fried bread with Jaz saying those who have utilised the scheme so far have been very grateful.
“The free lunches have gone down very well with our team,” says Port of Tauranga communications manager Rochelle Lockley.
“It’s been a great way to show appreciation to the port’s frontline border workers, who have to endure the discomfort of regular testing and have to follow strict safety protocols to keep them and the community safe from Covid-19. They deserve a big thank you.”
As well as the food on offer, Jaz is always keen to leave the workers with a chunk of gratitude.
“Every time they come I just say thank you so much for your sacrifice and choosing to have the vaccine,” she says.
“They kind of have no choice really. Given the type of jobs that they have they're more vulnerable to contracting Covid then normal society because they're on the front line.
“So I'm just really grateful that they are helping to protect those who can't have it yet, or those who haven't been able to get it.”