A volunteer group is providing free meals for the Hāwera community once a fortnight.

The group is called 4 The Iwi. Marris Collins, one of the volunteers behind the group, says the meals are free to anyone who wants to come along.

He says the idea came originally from his aunty, who wanted to help people in need.

"She didn't know how to put it in to action so we had a family meeting and made a plan. She has now left it in my hands."


Marris says he and his family understand first-hand what it can be like to be hungry.

"My family have been in the same situation, so we understand. I also had a period of being homeless. There are parents who aren't eating so their kids can eat. We know how hard it is for people with low incomes."

The money for the meals comes from Marris' own pocket.

"I work for BGTNZ, a company based in West Auckland Henderson, as an actor and extra for television. If I receive a large sum or an hourly rate I put a percentage away each pay cheque."

Marris says the team of volunteers spend a couple of hours prepping, cooking and serving the meals.

"It is easy when you have a game plan on what you will prepare. It's good for everyone, for the people who can come and enjoy some free kai and also for the volunteers, to be able to help their community is important as well."

Marris says the group needs volunteers who have spare time to help the community.

"Without the community, this wouldn't be possible."


■ The next community meal will be on June 15 at the Hāwera Presbyterian Centre..
For more information, like 4 The Iwi on Facebook or visit their website 4theiwi.co.nz or call: 0800 484 349.