The vision for Communities Feeding Communities was for Presbyterian Support Northern, Northern Presbytery, local Presbyterian churches and Saint Kentigern Girls & Boys Schools to work together with local communities to ensure access to affordable, nourishing food.
During Level 4 Lockdown last year, it was apparent that local communities had to rely on food parcels from agencies. This provided short-term relief for a couple of days but for many families this was the first time they had to ask for help. We realised that we need to create pathways that led to food security for these families.
After a meeting involving our Social Workers in Schools (SWiS), Rev Reuben Hardie from Saint Kentigern’s, Ivan Martinez from Somervell, Northern Presbytery and ourselves we came up with an empowering way for communities to access food with dignity and was more sustainable.
Through setting up Pataka Kai in local schools where we had SWiS, or outside churches, communities could access food donated by Saint Kentigern’s Boys & Girls Schools, local churches, community and businesses to feed themselves.
PSN & Northern Presbytery helped fund the project that meant that a koha would be available to the parents who kept the Pataka Kai well stocked and who were responsible for strengthening the relationship between the schools and churches.
The Communities Feeding Communities vision is more than just providing food for families, it’s about feeding them spiritually and ensuring relationships are valued and supported, putting into practice the Te Whare Tapu Wha model.