‘Until I die, I will feed them’
Thoughts of hungry children are keeping Shari-ann Clifford awake at night.
Pleas for food have overwhelmed the Porirua woman since the story of her charity, Kai for Kids, appeared in the KapiMana News last week.
‘‘I’m getting a lot of negative messages, a lot of needy messages and some donations.
‘‘People have messaged me threats because they think I shouldn’t be supporting parents who don’t feed their kids,’’ she said.
‘‘They say it’s not my problem but I know children are hungry, so it is my problem.’’
Clifford said the thought of children without food and the constant phone calls stop her from sleeping.
‘‘Porirua children are hungry, that keeps me awake.’’
She said four schools had approached her for help to feed their students, bringing the total of schools she supported to nine.
She had been approached by people from the Hutt Valley but had to turn them away so her focus could remain on Porirua.
‘‘Porirua kids aren’t getting a fair chance.’’
She said she was being supported by two Porirua businesswomen who were helping collect donations and distribute food.
Another person keen to help is Maisey Bentley, an Aotea College student.
Maisey said she had submitted a proposal to the college to get a group of students to help prepare lunches and collect grocery items.
‘‘As humans, if someone is going without and we have plenty then it’s our responsibility to do something about it,’’ Maisey said.
Clifford said it breaks her heart to receive letters from children thanking her for feeding them.
‘‘Kids shouldn’t be thanking me for what is a basic human right.’’
Mana MP Kris Faafoi said he’s doing what he can to help Clifford, which included a fundraiser held last week.
‘‘It’s great she’s helping and it’s a message there’s a big need in the community but we need to make sure she isn’t overwhelmed.
‘‘This is a challenge and the community has to share some of the burden,’’ he said.
Clifford said despite movie the pressure of feeding Porirua’s children she wouldn’t consider turning her back on them.
‘‘Until I die, if there’s children to be fed I will feed them.’’ Kai for Kids bank account number is BNZ: 02 0506 000 3479 001
Pataka has won two gold awards. The museum won one from the New Zealand Printing Association for Ngatai Taepa’s exhibition catalogue that was designed by Pataka’s graphic designer Stuart Forsyth. The second was from the museum’s Aotearoa Association for the best New Zealand social history exhibition. It went to Alice Masters for curating the Porirua 50th exhibition.
The Porirua basin will be well represented at the Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards, at TSB Arena on June 15. Daniel Hillier (golf, sportsman), Kayla Imrie (kayaking, sportswoman), Mana Kayak Racing Club (club of the year), Steven Bishop (disabled sportsman) and Melie Kerr (emerging sportswoman) are up for gongs.
Nominations close on July 31 for the Pride Awards, which celebrate the achievements of young people in the Wellington region. The six categories have a junior (5 to 12) and senior (13 to 17) award, and there is an overall award. Categories: Care and Support, Creativity/Innovation, Courage, Community, Environment, Leadership/Teamwork. To nominate, write to Pride Awards Trust, PO Box 19283, Wellington or prideawards.org.nz. The website is email@example.com.
Shari-ann Clifford is determined to feed Porirua’s hungry children.