Resting on the shelves of a fruit and vegetable stand in Hastings sat a bunch flowers, a mixture of daffodils and lavender, free for members of the public to take.

Those beautiful flowers ended up in the hands of Maraenui resident Rebecca Clegg who was then inspired to start her own community fruit and vegetable stand.

"I saw the flowers on the Plunket St stand on August 31, went home and built our stand on the 1st, it was out on the streets by the 2nd," Clegg said.

She also joined the "Community Fruit and Veg Stand," a public Facebook page, run by Mark Dennis who created the entire initiative.


Within an hour of placing the stand on Lodge Rd, donations were already flooding in.

"I put a post on a few local Facebook pages and people were so full of support and offers to donate. It was incredible!"

Clegg regularly checked the stand and said she was constantly being inundated with donations, so much so that she had to post to a social media page to encourage people to take more food.

Residents placed items such as spaghetti, rice broccoli, apples, baked beans, avocados and more.

"Some people just leave goods without taking and some people just take without anything to leave. Some people drop something off and see something they like, so take it.

There is no right or wrong way to use the stand, we check the stand once or twice a day to make sure there's no fruit that's off and to tidy up if needed."

Clegg said it was the first time she had ever started a community food stand and would certainly encourage other members of the Napier community to start up their own.

"I've always tried to do kind things and be a good person but not in this way, and from behind the scenes.


Once the stand is built, you're on the map it basically runs itself ! It's up to the community to look after it and use it and keep it going."

Clegg said non-perishable items like canned goods, rice were gratefully accepted as long as they were within use by dates and packaged properly.

"Fresh eggs are welcome as long as use by dates are written on them and even jams, preserves and relishes are popular as long as they're dated.

For food safety we do ask that no sanitary, cleaning, clothes etc or other non-food items be left at the stand, but donated instead to the local koha shed, Salvation Army, Woman's Refuge or a similar group."