Emergency welfare grants now available

If you have had to leave your house due to structural damage, you may be eligible for an emergency grant  from the NZ Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Commission.

These grants are intended to provide one-off, initial assistance. To find out more about the grants process use the links below or contact the Government Helpline (0800 779 997).

Find out if you’re eligible:

If you need help, or know someone who does, encourage them to apply. Read more earthquake recovery information on the library website.

Taking care out there

CoverHave you noticed that the supermarkets are running low on essential items at present? There’s been a huge clean up job after the Christchurch quake and my heartfelt thanks go out to the wonderful retail staff who have worked diligently to ensure the shelves are straightened and the food on them is safe to eat. Grocery shopping is once again part of everyday life and I find this little act of normality soothing. Life goes on in spite of it all.

However,  breakages and transport issues aside, there are still some essential items in short supply. I have never seen the chocolate, sweets and biscuits aisles looking so depleted and it’s virtually impossible to find a cheap bottle of wine. It looks like Cantabrians have turned to comfort food to calm their jagged nerves and I must admit to hoeing into the Whittaker’s peanut blocks and the liquorice allsorts myself. A bumper pack of chocolate fish appeared on our workroom desk yesterday. It was circled briefly before colleagues attacked like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Whoomph!

I’ve been doing a little research and found that junk food is not the best solution to dealing with stress. Apparently, our old friends sugar, fat, caffeine and alcohol, while wondrous on the tastebuds, put stress on the body and make us feel more anxious than ever. There are plenty of books available at CCL that give advice on how to deal with stress and keep well by eating healthily. Check out the Internet Gateway too. There are links to several respected sites that give advice on nutrition. If you’re feeling stressed, the Ministry of Health has a page dedicated to the Christchurch Earthquake with excellent links to people and resources who can help.

A chocolate bar in a crisis never hurt anyone and there are times when brown rice, blueberries and green leafy veges just don’t cut the mustard. But, as time passes and the aftershocks continue, I think I’ll pick up some salad veges on the way home. Chowing down on too many chocolate fish has left me feeling a little green around the gills.