Two Pāpāmoa mothers have launched a community food stall at the end of their shared driveway, but no money changes hands.

Donated fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, canned food and fresh baking are stacked on the stand.

People are encouraged to take what they need and replace it with their own donations of food from their gardens or cupboards.

Kelly O'Leary and her neighbour Rachel Rich set up the Papamoa Food Swap stall on the corner of Parton and Papamoa Beach Rds a couple of weeks ago.


Daily offerings are promoted and requested on the stall's Facebook page.

"People can donate their excess produce and take some donated offerings they don't have at home at the same time for free," O'Leary said.

O'Leary, who built the food stand containers from reclaimed pellets and donated crates from Super Liquor Papamoa, said since they first mooted the idea on Instagram the feedback had been overwhelmingly positive.

"It's been really lovely to see the awesome community response. I'm the sort of person who likes to pay it forward, and this is our way of doing that," she said.

O'Leary said the idea was sparked by a similar nationwide initiative started by Aucklander Mark Dennis six months ago called the Community Fruit and Veg Stand.

"We thought it was a great idea, but there was nothing in this area so decided to organise our own community stand, calling it the Papamoa Food Swap.

"It only took me a half a day to build the simple weather-proof stand and few hours painting to get it up and running," she said.

O'Leary said the Papamoa Food Swap stall was for everybody, with fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and even canned foods regularly appearing and disappearing throughout the day.


"If people have nothing to donate, it's okay to take something, but hopefully, they can drop off an item or two for someone else next time," she said.

O'Leary said the food safety rules were simple - people needed to make sure food dropped off was fresh and suitable to eat at the time.

If people dropped off eggs, they needed to write the date they were collected, and no expired food items or cooked meals should be donated.

"Anyone collecting food from the stand must make a reasonable attempt to check that they are happy with the quality and freshness of the food before they eat it," she said.

People were flocking to the stand, and the Papamoa Food Swap Facebook page had taken on a life of its own, with lots of supportive messages from shoppers.

O'Leary said lots of people wanted to give back to the community and they could do that by donating their garden surpluses or baking rather than it end up in the bin or landfill.

"It's so cool to see how many people are willing also to pay it forward and it's a wonderful demonstration of community spirit," she said.