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Little Free Pantry helps out those in need

Kaye McKean hopes that more people can donate food to the pantry

Kaye McKean hopes that more people can donate food to the pantry

A free food venture in Onehunga is already making its mark in the community. The Little Free Pantry, in Brookfield Avenue, off Onehunga Mall, is stocked daily with donated food, and is quickly emptied by people that need it. 




The pantry is maintained by Royal Oak’s Seventh Day Adventist Church on Mount Smart Road. It is run along the lines of the world-wide Little Free Library community movement, which gave rise to the Little Free Pantry idea.  It works on the basis that people can donate, or take, food anonymously. There is no need to ask for food,  or explain why it is needed.

Church member Kaye McKean, says church members were thinking about what they could do for the community around their church, and one of their members told them she knew of people who were going hungry in surrounding streets.  Kaye said they couldn’t believe it at first.

“We’re a church, and there are people hungry on our street, it’s wrong! It’s amongst us and we didn’t know it. There is genuine poverty happening.”

The pantry opened in July, and Kaye says word has spread fast; as soon as the pantry is stocked, it is quickly emptied. “People donate food but it’s still not enough.” She adds that although it is mostly stocked by private individuals, the church would welcome sponsorship from food companies.   

Kaye says they are always looking for donations of perishable food, but shampoo, nappies, and washing powder are also popular.

The church also cooks a free community meal every Thursday night, and Kaye says they feed 25 to 30 people every week, “people who sleep in their cars, people who don’t have cooking facilities, and older people,” are amongst those who turn up.

If you wish to donate food, you can either drop it directly into the pantry in Brookfield Street, Onehunga, or you can call Kaye McKean on 09 634 0279 for further information.











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