Food pantry in west Auckland a 'testimony to humanity'
Take what you need. Share what you can.
That's the motto of New Lynn's new community pantry.
Cissy Rock, founder of Community Think Ltd and instigator of the pantry, said she hoped people will take it to heart.
"Though New Lynn is seen as middle class, we still have hungry people," she said.
Rock said the pantry was meeting a clear need for the community. It follows similar initiatives in other cities both here and overseas.
Those with goods to donate can drive up and leave them in the cupboard. Those in need can come and take from the shelves.
The wooden cupboard sits against the Dayspring Trust New Lynn building, on Seabrook Ave, and is open 24/7.
"What we really need is for people to drop more stuff off," she said.
Rock said people could donate any non-perishable goods.
"Think of it like your pantry at home for your family. This is just for the community," she said.
"If there is spare food in your pantry, that you know you won't use and someone else could benefit from, put it in the community pantry.
"You never know who you might be helping out."
The pantry's success so far was a testimony to humanity, she said.
"We thought it would be vandalised. But its captured the community's imagination."
Supported by the Whau local board and Dayspring Trust, the community pantry was launched on September 16.
A similar effort, a pantry and fridge in New Brighton, Christchurch, has also proven to be very popular.
"We're feeding about 80 to 90 families a day and growing," organiser Trudy Burrows said.
Love Food, Hate Waste spokeswoman Sarah van Boheemen said there was a growing number of community pantries and fridges in New Zealand.
"Food pantries mean anybody can do anything to help. You can physically take it food to a place where people can access it without having to go through a food bank or charity," she said.
Van Boheemen said as the issue of food waste becomes more prevalent, people were increasingly making the connection between food waste and people in need.
"We talk about thinking globally and acting locally. Food pantries give you the potential to help someone living at the end of your street."