The Far North District Council and Te Tai Tokerau Primary Health Organisation (PHO) have once again joined forces to boost food security and economic development in the Far North.

They are now inviting applications for projects that will improve food security for communities and vulnerable groups within the council's area.

"We have decided to run this fund again, as we were impressed by the projects funded last year," PHO CEO Rose Lightfoot said.

The council was keen to support the fund again too, believing that supporting local food production would create jobs, boost incomes and self-sufficiency.

Advertisement

Last year's projects included funding that assisted the start-up of the Kaikohe Markets and Co-op, and training sessions in Kerikeri and Rawene on sustainable gardening techniques.

"This year we are looking for innovative projects and ideas from communities that need seed funding to get started," Daniela Johnson, health promoter at Northland PHOs, said.

"The Kai Ora fund is focused on projects that make it easier for people to afford, access or eat healthy, local food. Projects could be as diverse as helping clean up a local water supply used in food production to working on ways to form co-operatives, redistribute unsold food or setting up community kitchens.

Applications for funding close on June 17. Go to the Tai Tokerau PHO website for the form and more information.

Projects that were funded last year were:

Grow Kai in Whangaroa, a free three-day community wananga on growing food at home.

The Ngataki community garden at Waiora Marae, creating an attractive, well maintained garden and orchard while educating in horticulture, cooking, preserving and hygiene.

Dollar Wise Meals, using locally-sourced ingredients to produce a range of fresh and frozen heat and eat meals particularly suited to older people living along and struggling with cooking tasty, nutritious meals for one.

CBEC333, a money-saving and environmental sustainability mentoring programme that encouraged people to reduce food waste and to save money on their electricity and water bills, leaving a greater percentage of household income available for food.

Mahinga Kai Food Co-op (Hokianga), working with local marae to plan and develop an overall food programme, including mapping the food and housing needs of the area, collating a whanau network of Kai Ora Champions, delivering gardening workshops, planting a local food forest and investigating other resources that would support local food production and sale, including a food co-operative.

Rainbow Hills' monthly horticulture courses and training, providing education, support and guidance to develop and implement sustainable organic home food production.

The Northland Natural Food Co-op's online food distribution system, partnering and supporting Far North projects and sharing information and insights into online food distribution systems and co-ops that allow more profits to stay with local producers.

The Fresh Food Collective, increasing access to and affordability of fruit and vegetables in the Mid North by opening distribution hubs for a co-op style buying system.

Kaikohe Co-op, liaising with local communities to develop a food co-op and investigate local food suppliers. The project found very few local fruit and vegetable growers, and is now looking at setting up ways to grow food in Kaikohe that can be sold at an affordable price via the co-op.

The Kaingapipiwai Maara Kai Programme, developing a community garden and holding workshops on gardening, cooking and rongoa Maori.