Maraenui ad­vo­cate awarded for work

The Napier Mail - - KEEP WARM FOR WINTER -

It all started with a ques­tion, ‘‘where’s the food bank around here?’’

It was asked by a sin­gle par­ent to Adri­enne Ta­putoro’s sis­ter, which saw a food par­cel cre­ated from the fam­ily’s own pantries and Maraenui Do­na­tions was born.

Nearly five years on the char­ity pro­vides ev­ery­thing from bed­ding, fur­ni­ture and food parcels, to lunches for schools, mo­ral sup­port and stor­age space for fam­i­lies forced into mo­tels.

Ta­putoro has been in­volved with the project since its in­cep­tion and re­ceived a Napier Pi­lot City Award last month, hon­our­ing her ded­i­ca­tion to the com­mu­nity.

Do­ing the heavy lift­ing for Maraenui Do­na­tions has been hard.

‘‘It does my head in,’’ she said. ‘‘But the smiles on the faces of [peo­ple we help] is so worth it - that look of re­lief.’’

Al­most ev­ery­one in­volved with the or­gan­i­sa­tion had been through their own strug­gles, so any­one ask­ing for help never needed to fear judge­ment or ques­tion­ing.

‘‘It’s about giv­ing peo­ple a hand - not mak­ing them feel bad.’’

One story she tells with great pride is a fam­ily who re­ceived do­na­tions a num­ber of times while ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a rough patch.

‘‘I saw them at the su­per­mar­ket [months later] - they were look­ing re­ally good and had two full trol­leys.

‘‘And the mum said, ‘one’s for you’.’’

The fam­ily, which had once re­lied on Adri­enne’s or­gan­i­sa­tion, was now able to help fill the pantries of oth­ers.

Ta­putoro sais there was still de­mand for food and warm bed­ding, plus a short­age of hous­ing with some fam­i­lies forced to live in garages and sheds.

She es­ti­mated Maraenui have helped over 500 peo­ple since Christ­mas.

They also served the wider Hawke’s Bay com­mu­nity, with peo­ple con­tact­ing her from as far north as Wairoa and south as Waipuku­rau.

For her or­gan­i­sa­tion to con­tinue help­ing oth­ers, it needed food and items to pass on, plus fund­ing to pay for over­heads on its Onekawa site.

To do­nate or ask for help Maraenui Don­ta­tions could be reached through its Face­book page.

Other re­cip­i­ents of the Pi­lot City Awards, pre­sented in May, in­clude Mane Adams, Ross Dun­can, Liam Far­ris, Winipere Eva Mauger, Mary Cather­ine Mills, Crete Pinkham, Rose Puna and Massey Teruki.

Win­ners of the 2017 Napier’s Pi­lot City Awards.

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