Linda Lake who set up Te Awahou Kai, Foxton's free community pantry, is looking for a new home for her operation.

Initially started in her home in Foxton, the food rescue and distribution organisation moved to an empty classroom at Foxton Primary School in April 2019.

However, when the school carries out some renovations of classrooms later this year, Linda, her three fridges, freezers and shelves full of grocery items will be homeless unless she can find new premises.

Run as a charitable venture, Te Awahou Kai has no criteria for people wanting food, and no means testing. Linda believes she has a mission in life to make sure families have enough food to eat.


"I just don't want to see anyone go hungry," she says.

Te Awahou Kai distributes hundreds of items a week to locals who visit the site on Mondays and Thursdays 4.30pm – 5.30pm. Food is also delivered to dozens of schools, local marae and other groups in Horowhenua and Kāpiti.

Volunteers collect food from food rescue organisation Just Zilch in Palmerston North at least twice a week, a Levin Bakery and Foxton New World to distribute to those who need it.

Other food producers donate when they have surplus, like Turks chicken in Foxton and Tasman Takeaways. Locals donate excess fruit, vegetables and eggs.

Other food rescue organisations share their excess with Te Awahou Kai and swaps are made between groups when they have excess.

Linda loves to grow plants and also distributes seedlings to those wanting food parcels to help them grow their own food.

"We have a lovely gentleman who cycles to us to bring us flowers. He says people can't eat them but they will make people happy".

Linda is not afraid to ask for help to keep families fed in the area. Her three freezers and three fridges were donated, and all the food is donated apart from a small amount Linda and other volunteers pay for.


She uses her own van to transport groceries which a donor pays the $100 a week petrol for. Another anonymous donor pays the koha to the school for the use of the classroom.

As well as needed new premises, Linda is keen to get more donations of fruit and vegetables from home gardeners with surplus, and eggs. Anyone can donate goods or time to Te Awahou Kai by contacting Linda