Wellington Free Store still looking for spot
METRO AND CAPITAL DAY REPORTER
Donators have pledged enough money for Wellington Free Store's new container ship home - but there is still nowhere to put it.
The store was set up in 2010 as a way to make use of the surplus food left unused by cafes and bakeries each day, but had to close down in December last year when its premises were leased out.
Enough money has now been raised to set up a new store inside a shipping container, but as yet there is no new site for it.
Free Store managing director Benjamin Johnson said a shipping container seemed like a suitable option for the small-scale operation, but finding a new site was proving to be a challenge.
"We didn't want to hassle people around Christmas for a new site so we opted to look at reopening this year, in a more sustainable and permanent fashion.
"We saw what they achieved down in Christchurch and in other places around the world with shipping containers, and thought that could be a good way to get us up and running when we were ready."
To raise the funds for a shipping container and other materials, Mr Johnson set up a PledgeMe account to allow people to donate to the cause.
So far over $5600 had been raised, with the PledgeMe account due to remain open until tomorrow.
More than 50 pledgers had donated funds, with two anonymous donators stumping up $500 and one donating $1000.
"We had people pledging just small amounts of pocket change, through to those making really significant gestures to help us out."
Since the account was opened, Mr Johnson has been in discussions with a company to get the container donated, freeing up the raised funds to help keep the store running long-term.
"Finding a site is the missing piece in the puzzle at this stage. We are trying our luck in a whole lot of different areas to see where we could set up camp."
There had been discussions with various Wellington businesspeople and companies, as well as Wellington City Council, to see where the store could lay down roots.
Council spokesman Grahame Armstrong said nothing was finalised as yet, but the council was working with the Free Store on potential sites on Council-owned land.
"The Free Store is definitely something we support and would like to see in the city, because it utilises vacant space and adds to Wellington's vibrancy."
Mr Johnson was hopeful the new store could be opened in August once a site is found and the container fitted out.
"We have got everything else lined up and ready to go, we just need a place to put it so we can get the doors open."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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