Whanganui Koha Shed manager Sherron Sunnex and a number of volunteers from the Koha Shed revved up their engines on Sunday morning and dispersed throughout the community for their first-ever food drive.

Four marked vehicles drove around all Whanganui suburbs with loud hailers and horns, collecting food and clothing from donators.

Majority of collections were food both canned and non-perishable that filled up the bins on the back of the vehicles quickly.

Some areas of Whanganui were more generous then others Sunnex said but she was thankful to everybody that donated.


"We've had a really great response and we're really grateful to the community," Sunnex said.

Sunnex said they have recently lost food donations from the City Mission and find it difficult at times to buy food for the Koha Shed so they called on the community to help.

"We have been buying food in as we do an awful lot of food parcels for people, but we need to keep fundraising in order to buy food," Sunnex said.

They asked the community to donate dried food, non-perishable fresh vegetables and fruit and personal items such as clothing and blankets.

On average 150 to 200 people will visit the Koha shed on a weekly basis and Sunnex said they are getting new families come in all the time.

Sunnex said the majority of people are very honest and will tell her how long they have until their next payday so they are then able to make up a food parcel that will support them and their family within that timeframe.

"We get single people that come in every week, not for big food parcels but simply because they have run out of money and it's a day or two before payday."

Sunnex said Tuesday is usually their busiest day but they get still get people needing food on the days they are not open but they never turn them away.


"Not everyone is a beneficiary, we get a lot of working people and sometimes they struggle to get in here so they will message us and ask to come in another time."

Sunnex first set up The Koha Shed in her garage in 2012 and now it resides in the old Scout Hall in Duncan St.

It is an operation where people donate goods so others who are in need can come and collect clothing, household items and food for free.

"We get beautiful stuff given to us and we put out good quality clothing and people come in and they're getting really beautiful clothing and it's all for free because we're given it for free."

Behind the shed, they also have a thriving garden with raised beds producing healthy vegetable crops they use in their food parcels.

They are also in the process of getting a new driveway, signage and to begin planting fruit trees in their front section for people to be able to walk past and freely get free fruit.

Between the 12 volunteers that work at the Koha shed, Sunnex said they are inspired by the fact they are doing something for the community.

"There's really only a small band of us because it's not paid work, but the people that are here are really dedicated to what they do and we achieve an awful lot for a little handful of people," Sunnex said.

The Koha Shed at 88 Duncan St, Wanganui East, is open from 10am to 3.15pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Donations of usable household items and food can be dropped off five days a week.