A charitable trust has opened a free food store in south Taranaki to combat food wastage.
The Kai Kitchen Trust founder Rochelle Steer says the trust has set up the food store to give away donated food surplus to their needs to minimise food going to landfill.
"Once we have picked out the food for the school lunches and kai packs the rest goes towards the free food store. We want to feed tummies instead of landfill."
The free food store opened on April 20.
"We were all blown away with the response. It was overwhelming. We weigh the food and in the two hours the store was open we gave away 216kg of food which equals 612 meals. Everyone was excited to food shop for free."
She says board member Michelle Mills came up with the idea.
"As our number of school lunches has reduced by half for term two, we thought we would start up the store as a way to help those in need."
Rochelle describes the store as a modern-day food bank.
"People come in with a bag and they choose what they need. However there are limitations to what people can take to make sure they only take what they need so that there is plenty for everyone."
The food store contains coffee, tea, biscuits, tinned cans, biscuits, and other food, she says.
"A person is only allowed to take one item from the tea and coffee shelf and there are limitations on the other shelves as well. The store is there for people needing to top up their pantry's after their weekly shop."
The Kai Kitchen Trust also has a freezer full of meals for senior citizens, she says.
"We have whole meals and pies. A senior citizen can choose one thing
they'd like from the freezer when they come in store. It's purely just for them."
She says the trust appreciates all the food donations given to them.
"We are always looking for more produce. If there is anyone with excess fruit and vegetables from their garden or local cafes, bakery businesses wanting to donate, we'll happily take the food off your hands. We are grateful for every donation we receive."