‘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 info@prideawards.org.nz.

Shari-ann Clif­ford is deter­mined to feed Porirua’s hun­gry chil­dren.

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