Student Volunteer Army

In March 2020, several days before lockdown to prevent community transmission of COVID-19, the Student Volunteer Army began planning its Grocery Delivery Service. The service helped people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access groceries during lockdown: the elderly, immuno-compromised and others who couldn’t leave their homes or easily access support or online shopping.

Over the course of 10 days the Student Volunteer Army designed, prototyped and built an end-to-end online grocery store with a fully functional and secure payment system and backend operation. It also set up a call centre, staffed by volunteers, to take grocery orders by phone.

The Student Volunteer Army partnered with New World (Foodstuffs), Hyundai NZ, Z Energy, Facebook and a number of government agencies. They collaborated with world-class leaders and experts, including Kiwi entrepreneurs. 102 people helped organise this national grocery delivery service. More than 3,000 new volunteers signed up nationwide to support, and many continue to offer their help.

During lockdown, the team delivered thousands of groceries to those who needed support. They worked with 52 supermarkets, answered over 1,000 phone calls for support and partnered with local communities to ensure contact-less grocery delivery, always with a smile.

Post lockdown, the Student Volunteer Army continues to partner with district health boards and aged care providers to refer those needing grocery deliveries after leaving hospital or due to in-home needs.