Feed­ing the community

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

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.

PHOTO MURRAY WIL­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

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.

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