Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Update (as at 5.00pm 20th November 2020)

On the 1st April 2020 we launched the SVA Grocery Delivery Service, in response to the COVID19 lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. Over 3,000 of you put your hand up to volunteer - and, with your help, we delivered thousands of grocery items: both providing our customers with essential goods but also often a much-needed bright smile and a wave during those long days in isolation.

We have continued to deliver this service into Alert Level 1; as we approach the Christmas period, we are aware that many of our volunteers’ work and study commitments will change and that many people will be preparing to take a break over the festive season.

When will the SVA Grocery Delivery Service go on pause?

The SVA Grocery Delivery Service will be paused on the 15th of December.

What will happen if we enter into another COVID19 lockdown?

In the event that the COVID19 situation changes, or the technology and service is required in another instance, we have prepared to be able to provide the service immediately.

For further support & information, please contact us: 0800 005 902 or email

Update (as at 5:30 pm 14 August 2020)

As advised by the New Zealand Government on Friday, 14 August 2020, Auckland is remaining in Alert Level 3 for 12 days, and the rest of New Zealand is remaining in Level 2, effective immediately.

As a result, the Student Volunteer Army is reactivating its SVA Grocery Delivery Service, to help support those who are immunocompromised, cannot leave the house or who need some extra support with their shopping. 

To arrange your groceries, either: 

  • Visit to place your order

  • Call 0800 005 902 (NZ wide) or 09 801 2122 (Auckland) to talk to one of our friendly team and order via the phone

Who is this service for? 

This service is for: 

  • Those aged 65+
  • Medically vulnerable
  • Anyone that requires support due to their personal circumstances, such as single parents
  • Essential services workers

If you’d like to use this service, but fall out with these categories, please give our friendly team a call on 0800 005 902 and we’ll see if we’re able to help.

Please note that we will be randomly checking orders to ensure that this service is not being abused. We will be passing on anyone’s details who we believe is abusing it to the police.

Is it safe to get my groceries delivered during this lockdown period? 

The safety and wellbeing of our community is our top priority; we’re working extensively with experts, agencies and Foodstuffs themselves to ensure that we have taken every possible precaution to reduce the risk of transferring COVID19. 

All deliveries will be made to your doorstep: with minimal contact made (for example, we will call you, rather than knock on your front door). Any surfaces touched will be sanitised afterwards and our volunteers will wear masks and gloves at all times. 

They receive full training and are required to undertake that they are in perfect health every day that they volunteer. We also have designed our systems to ensure that we know exactly who has been involved at every step of the process. 

How does it work? 

  1. You confirm that you are indeed a member of the community that is eligible for this service 
  2. Choose your groceries 
  3. Enter your credit card details on our secure payment form
  4. Our friendly volunteers collect your groceries the next morning and then drop your groceries to your door, whilst wearing gloves and masks
  5. We charge your card after delivery

What about the delivery fee? 

There’s a $6 delivery fee to help us cover the basic costs; such as grocery bags and reimbursing our volunteers for the cost of fuel.

How long will it take for my groceries to arrive? 

We are aiming to process all orders within 48 hours, based on demand. These are exceptional times and our volunteers are doing their absolute best; please be patient. 

Where will the volunteer leave my groceries? 

All grocery deliveries  are contactless for health and safety reasons - this includes touching gates and fences where-ever possible.  If there is a special place outside your door where you would like us to leave your groceries - please tell us, so we can make sure that they’re safely delivered.  You can tell us this during the checkout process. Groceries are delivered in reusable bags, so we advise making sure that they’re brought inside as soon as possible! 

What if the items I want aren’t available at the supermarket? 

We’ll do our best to substitute your items, in the event that what you’ve ordered isn’t available. However, if we can’t, you won’t be charged for the items in your order: you’re only charged for what we deliver to you. 

Please note, if you absolutely must have a certain brand due to a dietary requirement (we’re talking about things like nut allergies here, not just a ‘mild preference’!), it’s helpful for you to let us know in the comments of your order, so that we can make sure our volunteers know. 

I received the wrong item! What happens now? 

Oops! We’re sorry about that! We’re working incredibly hard to make sure that we can assist - but we may get it wrong in some cases. Your patience and understanding is appreciated during these challenging times. 

How does the payment system work? 

When you enter your credit card details at the online checkout, we take an authorisation from your credit card.  The amount that is “Authorised” is reserved on your card. Once we have processed your order, we then charge your card - for exactly what was purchased at the supermarket.  If there is a balance remaining we “cancel” that with your Issuing Bank (ANZ, Westpac, ASB etc). Some banks take up to 7 days to process those cancellations. (i.e we “Authorize” $100, 2 items are not in stock so we “capture” $92 and then cancel the remaining $8).

We’ve worked with experts to build a safe and secure system; please read our Terms & Conditions for the legalese. 

Does the Student Volunteer Army profit from this service? 

No! This is a system that is being heavily supported through volunteers, donations and partners - and we’re really grateful to have everyone on board. If you’re able to, your donation to help us continue to provide this service is greatly appreciated.


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