Stop­ping waste with stall

Te Puke Times - - NEWS - By STU­ART WHI­TAKER news@tepuke­times.co.nz

Charleen Ni­cholas has found a way to stop food go­ing to waste and help the com­mu­nity.

Charleen has set up a Com­mu­nity Fruit and Veg stall out­side her Te Matai Rd home where food can be taken away or left by any­one.

The Com­mu­nity Food and Veg cam­paign be­gan in Auck­land when Mark Den­nis de­cided to give his sur­plus fruit and veg away on a road­side stall. The idea has since spread. “I saw on Face­book that a lady in Pāpā­moa had some stands to give away,” says Charleen. “And I thought, ‘why not? I wouldn’t mind do­ing that be­cause I al­ways have food that I chuck out and I can use that for the good of everyone’.”

She con­tacted that lady — Lynette Melville, who also looks af­ter a stall — and asked for one of the stands that had been made by Pāpā­moa Col­lege stu­dents.

Block let­ters for the stand have been made by Te Puke Menz Shed, mak­ing if clear that every­thing on the stand is free.

As well as be­ing some­where peo­ple can get free food, peo­ple can make dona­tions by just leav­ing things at the stall. As much a way to re­duce waste as help­ing those in need, the stalls are spring­ing up across the coun­try.

So far there has been plenty of fruit on the stall as well as pack­ets and tins of food, bread, bagels and other gro­ceries and even toi­let rolls.

Charleen’s house is a short drive up Te Matai Rd from its in­ter­sec­tion with Te Puke High­way at num­ber 162 — not too far out of the way, she says.

“It’s my idea and this is where I live, so it’s go­ing to be here,” she laughs. She has reg­u­larly posted pic­tures of the stand on Face­book.

“I’m getting it out there so we’ll see how it goes.” Lynette’s stand is out­side Be­gin­nings and Beyond Qual­ity Preschool in Pāpā­moa.

While suf­fer­ing with the flu and head­ing to the su­per­mar­ket to buy lemons, she no­ticed tree af­ter tree heav­ing with the fruit and cov­er­ing the ground and thought “what a waste”. The idea is to give a lit­tle, take a lit­tle, share a lot, she says.

“It’s for any­one who wants it. It is not a food bank, it is more about re­duc­ing waste. There’s so much fruit and veg­eta­bles that go to waste.”

Peo­ple have do­nated grape­fruit, herbs, tooth­brushes, cans, cat food, ce­real, even books. Peo­ple keep do­nat­ing and the stand is re­plen­ished of­ten, Lynette says.

CHARLEEN Ni­cholas (left), pic­tured with Ver­ity Ni­cholas and Te Ata­here Worters, has started a free food stand on Te Matai Rd.

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