When Whangārei woman Angela Aitken came across a story about a group offering free food and clothing to a West Auckland community, she was motivated to do the same locally.

The group was Unite Aotearoa, a non-profit organisation all about helping communities, and they had organised an event in Ranui one weekend giving free food and free clothing to those in need.

Aitken was inspired.

"My thought was, I've seen so many posts in the Whangārei area of people saying the Government need to do this, the Government need to do that. No, actually we need to do something ourselves," she said.


Aitken messaged Unite Aotearoa through Facebook and said she wanted to do something in Whangārei. They replied and said they had her back and would provide the kai.

Now an event has been organised on September 1 at the Tikipunga Rugby Clubrooms from 11am.

"It's the community coming together and having a chat, listening to other people's stories, and getting to know each other," she said.

A few weeks ago Aitken put the word out on Facebook calling for donations. She received help from Natasha Paddison who has also offered to collect items and sort through them, and she has been flooded with donations.

"I'm buzzing. It's incredible to see the kindness that's out there," she said.

"We've had about 18 donations and this morning one lady gave us 12 bags of clothes which ranged from babies to adults and that was amazing. What we're doing now is sorting through the clothes and anything you wouldn't wear yourself we're getting rid of."

Aitken said this was an important event to have in Whangārei.

"There's too many struggling families, all over New Zealand but we can't cure everyone at once. We've got to start where we live first."


Aitken said she was still after donations - particularly for men's clothing, hats and socks, and canned and dried foods so she can make up food parcels.

"Whatever would help a family in need is what we're looking for," she said.

Aitken said on the day people can turn up and grab what they need.