Feeding the community
For the past three years, Legacy in Highbury has been providing what pastor John Faiz describes as Palmerston North’s biggest soup kitchen.
Every Monday evening from 5pm, the Legacy Centre’s Just Hope community meal feeds between 180 and 200 people, all for free, using volunteers.
Now to support the Just Hope programme, Legacy has opened a Wednesday cafe.
From 10am to 2pm, Selah – a Hebrew word for pause or rest, probably in the musical sense – offers a community social space with good kai at ‘‘better than reasonable prices’’, according to manager Mel Peeti.
‘‘It’s been created firstly as a social space that serves $3 espressos made with awardwinning Arrosta beans, $1.50 sandwiches, homemade sausage rolls and $3.50 pies,’’ Mel says.
‘‘The second reason is to generate money for Just Hope’s community meal. All the profit from the cafe goes back into the community and helps feed those in need in our city.’’
The cafe, part of the Legacy Centre on the corner of Highbury and Brentwood Aves, has also relied on wider community support.
The espresso machine for instance, has been loaned by Simon Fowler of Arrosta Coffee. Food cabinets filled with homemade baking and sandwiches overlook a space furnished with fold-out tables, sofas and coffee tables.
‘‘It’s a peaceful place where people can connect. Parents call in between dropping off their kids at school and going to town.’’
Volunteer Kathleen Stephens from Poverty Action says the cafe has a valuable social role to play.
‘‘It’s where people can find friends and enjoy a social life – catering for those who really need support. Children are important too. Many come from broken homes.’’
Selah has enabled barista Alisha Beamsley to reactivate her skills, and pass on tips-of-thetrade in the art of coffee-making to volunteer Camile MorrisonBell. The kitchen also provides food preparation and handling experience.
The cafe is an adjunct to Legacy’s op-shop, where donated second-hand goods help raise funds for various missions including Orphans Aid International and Nvader, an international organisation partnered with Tearfund that is committed to ending sex trafficking and slavery.
Staff at Legacy’s weekly Wednesday cafe in support of the Just Hope community meal programme (from left), Camile Morrison-Bell, Jeannette Love, manager Mel Peeti, Alisha Beamsley and Kathleen Stephens, serve up the love.