A pop-up restaurant feeding those in need is giving away 300 pairs of shoes as part of a crowdfunding effort to raise enough money to set up shop permanently.

Everybody Eats is a restaurant service that feeds about 250 people who pay on an "as you can" basis in central Auckland every Monday.

Donations from diners who can afford to pay more offset the majority attending who are struggling to make ends meet, whether they be homeless or on a low income.

• READ MORE: Everybody Eats: Food from the heart for those in need


The programme runs with the help of volunteers, including chefs from Auckland's hospitality scene, and donations of food that would otherwise go to waste.

Running out of St Kevin's Arcade on Karangahape Rd as a pop up, it currently lacks a permanent home.

Founder Nick Loosley is aiming to raise $120,000 in the next month through an online PledgeMe campaign, using the money to secure a spot where Everybody Eats can run from permanently.

"We need money to buy a lease and buy a van and fit the space out," he said.

As part of the crowdfunding effort, shoe company Toms has donated 600 pairs of shoes, which can be "bought" with a $90 donation.

For each pair paid for by a crowdfunding donation another pair will be given to someone in need.

Nick Loosley of Everybody Eats holding a Toms shoe - his organisation has 300 pairs give away to those in need. Photo / Doug Sherring
Nick Loosley of Everybody Eats holding a Toms shoe - his organisation has 300 pairs give away to those in need. Photo / Doug Sherring

Diners at Everybody Eats who appeared to be in need had been approached discreetly and asked whether they needed and wanted a pair of shoes when arriving for a meal.

"They're pretty bloody excited to be given a free pair of shoes, and choose the colour and get the experience of choosing a new pair," Loosley said.


"It's definitely exciting to be able to offer that opportunity."

So far about 60 people have been fitted and the first delivery of pairs already paid for will arrive on Monday.

"Shoes are a pretty fundamental thing for someone in need or someone homeless to have in winter," Loosley said.

Once the orders already taken were filled, more would be taken.

Everybody Eats is trying to tackle two major problems - food waste and food poverty.

"Food poverty is the inability to afford or have access to food that makes up a healthy diet," said Loosley, who estimated about three quarters of his diners suffered food poverty.

Alexis Sawyers, a team leader at the City Mission, said footwear was an essential item those struggling often went without.

She applauded the initiative.

"Good-quality footwear for people who are either homeless or on very low incomes is massive, because it's something they will often never be able to get.

"Particularly as people in those groups walk everywhere."

To donate to Everybody Eats' fundraising campaign click here.