A local charity has opened a facility in south Taranaki.
The Kai Kitchen Trust has started working from Hāwera and founder Rochelle Steer says it is great to have an in-community presence.
"We opened on the first day of term 4 and we have already seen an interest from people calling in to see what we do or wanting to become a volunteer."
She says it is great to have all the supplies in one place.
"Everything is on hand when we need it and we can view the supplies to see what we have. Before we were operating out of Stratford, Hāwera and Pātea so everything was spread out. It's nice to have one place."
The trust are renting out a large boardroom and meeting room at an hourly rate for services who need a space to work from.
"This helps cover the cost."
The furniture for the new space was donated by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway. Rochelle says the trustees feel lucky to have their support.
"Because of their support we could put the money for furniture towards our new concept."
The Kai Kitchen Trust are trialling Kai Packs to be introduced after Christmas.
"With the introduction of the Government's healthy school lunches programme, the number of lunches we make daily will drop from 120 down to 17. Because of this we are introducing something new so we can continue to help Taranaki children."
Kai Packs are emergency meals designed for families with children.
"They get couriered to families in need all across Taranaki," Rochelle says.
The Kai Packs contain a recipe card and the ingredients to cook a meal.
"The meals are easy enough for a 10-year-old to cook. The aim is to feed a family but also teach them how to cook. We have always wanted to teach people how to cook and this is a way to do that."
She says the families will be referred to the Kai Kitchen Trust by Social Services providers, government departments, schools, and health departments.
"They provide us with the details of the family and we give them a custom meal based on their family size and other factors. If a family doesn't have a fridge, power or pans they may receive a breakfast meal instead."
The trust sent out 10 trialled meals and she says the feedback has been 'extremely' good.
"We put a post on Facebook asking if people would like to trial our new concept. They didn't know what it was until it arrived. They were very pleased."
The next step is sending out 10 packs to families in need referred by Social Services providers.
"I think these packs are going to be life changing for families in need. The get everything they need for a meal."
The Kai Kitchen Trust started in April 2015.
"We had put a post on Facebook as we had leftover hāngi. There were 40 plates to give away. We were messaged by a lady asking for some food for her family. They were very grateful. Within the next half hour, we were tagged in a post where the woman had tried to trade the hāngi for alcohol."
She says the next day she went to the school where the children attended to check if they had food.
"They didn't have any so I asked the principal if Kai Kitchen could make their lunches every day. Rather than single them out we made meals for the breakfast club as well. We thought 'if there's this many children there must be more at other schools'. We first started making eight lunches now we make 120 per day."
The Kai Kitchen Trust has made 77,263 school lunches so far. She says they are changing the adopt a lunch programme to adopt a meal.
"It is still the same concept. People pay $5 per week to fund a lunch or to go towards funding a Kai Pack."
As well as supporting children with meals, the Kai Kitchen Trust helps cover the costs of school.
"We help with uniforms and supply starting back at school packs."
The trust are currently working on their Christmas present programme.
"Each year we give our children Christmas presents. We put out an age and gender to the public and they purchase something suitable. It's all about making sure they get the good things like we do at Christmas."