Kai for the community2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Royal Oak has a new free food pantry at St John’s Anglican Church. The pantry is part of the Pātaka Kai Open Street Pantry Movement (OSPM) – a grassroots crowd-sourced solution to help meet local food needs.
OSPM believe that kai (food) has a role in nourishing a person’s tinana (physical wellbeing) and wairua (spirit), while reducing stress and promoting the values of koha (gift) and manaaki (care). They are committed to promoting community empowerment, and to supporting growth in communities.
The idea is that you take what you need, and you leave what you can. Whether there is a need for food or an opportunity to give, local residents can do so at their own discretion and convenience 24/7. The pantry was built by Don Hook and the team at Auckland Central Community Shed, and members of the congregation donate food items when they can. The church also contributes fresh produce grown from their own garden on-site, and the vegetables are used at their monthly Spaghetti Dinner which is free to all members of the public.
All street pantries are stocked organically as much as possible, and project facilitator, Sarah Pidgeon, encourages nearby residents to share spare fruit, vegetables, and any unwanted food items they may have at home. “It’s such a great concept. We are working to get the word out and we want our neighbours and local community to get involved. We hope to connect with people and organisations who would be interested in contributing food – long term partnerships would be great. If you have any spare, excess food at home, we would love you to drop it off to our pantry.”
Everyone is welcome to be a part of this open pantry movement. Any non-perishable foods, fruit and vegetables are encouraged. No hot food or refrigeration items, clothing or non-food items.
St John’s Anglican Church, 6 Chandler Avenue Royal Oak (between the Pak’n Save carpark and Royal Oak Primary School)
Visit patakai.co.nz/ for a list of Pātaka Kai locations near you.