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Free Store to help Westies

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 12:21 10/02/2011
Free Store
Maarten Holl

BORROWED IDEA: From left, Benjamin Johnson, Rose Petterson and Cherie Epapara at the opening of the Free Store in the Wellington. West Auckland will get its own Free Store from Monday.

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Aucklanders are set to benefit from the leftovers of supermarkets and food retailers with a FreeStore set to open in West Auckland, next week, for a one month trial.

The Free Store follows a concept adopted in cities worldwide  where leftover but edible products from retailers and growers, are given free of charge to members of the community - particularly those in need.

The West Auckland store, which opens on Monday, will be open to anyone in the community but particularly to people struggling to pay their weekly food bill but unwilling or ineligible to access a food bank.

Lou Lennane, from the Community Development, Arts and Culture team of Auckland Council, said the items available would include those with reject packaging, misshapen food, damaged items, bakery items, cereal, coffee, and produce.

Lennane said supermarkets, small food retailers, growers and producers were all on board.

''We have even had donations of produce from the gardens at Henderson Primary School.''

There is also expected to be a large artistic component to the store, including a sculpture created by Henderson Primary School students from waste food packaging.

"This is an exciting concept to bring to Auckland, and we’re proud to be doing the trial in Waitakere. It will be very interesting to see how the community responds," Vanessa Neeson, chair of the Henderson-Massey Local Board said.

The project is supported by funding from Auckland Council, but has largely been made possible by donations of all labour and services.

The space was donated for free, with free paint, carpet and carpet laying and graphic design students produced the artwork for the shop promotion.

FreeStore Waitakere will be open from 14 February – 11 March at 398 Great North Road, Henderson, Monday-Saturday from 10am.

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