Fletcher Construction has partnered with the Otaki Food Bank in its most recent community project.

The company held an open day for people to collect mulch dug up from the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway in exchange for a koha donation.

"We knew it would generate some money so we approached the Otaki Food Bank beforehand to see if they wanted to work together," Fletcher Construction communications manager Sarah Ropata said.

"We have stockpiles of mulch and have had lots of requests from the community to access it.


"So we put together a public open day where people gave a koha, which we are giving to the food bank."

After five different compliance checks arranged and organised by Fletcher Construction and the organiser of the event, Libby Geffiries, to allow people on the construction site, 260 car-loads, three diggers and 140 tons of mulch later, the Otaki Food Bank has been presented with a cheque for more than $2000.

"We really want it to be about Otaki Food Bank and the good work they are doing," Sarah said.

"We're just really happy to be able to help."

The Otaki Food Bank operates three days a week and is run by volunteers.

Food Bank manager Lucy Tahere said the bank is totally reliant on the community.

"We rely on people like you guys who give us donations for food.

"We rely on church groups and members of the public, and are as open and transparent as possible."

All food banks work differently, with the Otaki Food Bank giving food parcels only to people who have been referred from WINZ or on hardship benefits.

"We try to cater to the size of the family, so for example if they have teenagers we give them extra bread.

The food bank buys basic items, including cleaning products about once a fortnight using money from donations and grants, with any treats such as chocolate and biscuits being donations.