More Levin families are now able to take what food they need and give when they can as another sharing shelf pops up in the town.

This shelf is located at Waiopehu College and offers a place to not only share and give food but also books.

Waiopehu College food and nutrition teacher Sarah Ryan said when their classroom fridge broke down and couldn't be fixed, she knew exactly what to do with it.

She saved it from landfill and used other successful models to pitch the idea to Horowhenua District Council, applying for a Community Development Grant to get it installed.

Share your food and don't let it go to waste, and if you are in need, it's for you to come and take.
Share your food and don't let it go to waste, and if you are in need, it's for you to come and take.

The grant was successful and the project begun and this week its installation was finished.

Council communications adviser Trish Hayward said the project was described by the Community Funding and Recognition Committee as great community development.
"It ticked all the boxes in terms of neighbourliness, resilience and social connection, which are the criteria for the fund," she said.

Mrs Ryan said it was something she has always wanted to do in the community.

She said there is so much excess of produce going to waste in people's homes, vege gardens and fruit trees, and she knew there was a better way to share food for free.
"We live in a community that needs it," she said.

"A lot of our kids are always hungry. Although The Sharing Shelf is not only for them, it's for the community, it's only at the school for security."

She encouraged all families to take what they need and give what you can.

"Why waste food when people need it?" she said.

College student Lydia Morrison, 17, said it was cool that the school were able to provide a way to balance the surplus and need in the community. "It's a comfortable environment where there is no shame; it's anonymous and easily accessible," she said.


Lydia said Mrs Ryan had been teaching the class about the under consumption of fruit and vegetables in New Zealand and how severe the issue has become.

"If we can all learn to practise what we preach to provide a solution for problems like this, hopefully also setting an example for others to follow," she said.

"It's a start, a small project that I know Mrs Ryan hopes will inspire other people to also come up with similar ideas to meet a need in the community."