Volunteer kitchen needs your help
Cafe provides meals for children, public
‘We have been fortunate over the years to have had some great volunteers.
Volunteers are needed to help in a vegetarian kitchen providing up to 1000 meals a week for Northland school children, and koha meals to the public.
For the first time in five years the Food for Life Cafe has struggled to find volunteers to help with food preparation, serving meals and cleaning up the kitchen.
Cafe founder Buddhi Wilcox said working in the kitchen gave people great cooking and knife skills and most importantly gave people a real sense of fulfilment by helping the community.
Food for Life Northland was established in 2012 after Mr Wilcox became aware of the great need for healthy meals for school children in Northland, many of whom often went hungry, and in the first year provided 5000 meals.
Now the cafe produces 1000 meals a week.
“We have been fortunate over the years to have had some great volunteers. What we are after now is a reliable potscrubber and people to help with preparation and cleanup.
“We need people who are going to make a commitment to be here.”
He said an advert appealing for volunteers was put in the cafe window but there had not been an overwhelming response.
“To work here people need to have a good attitude, be able to work with other people, and have a sense of humour.”
The cafe on Water St in Whangarei operates two shifts — morning from 9am-noon, and the afternoon shift from 11.30am to 2.30pm — from Monday to Thursday. Volunteers were needed for both. He said currently the cook at times was not only cooking, but doing the dishes and cleaning.
Food For Life relies on donations to meet its side of the school meals bargain, including the food itself, much of which is leftover produce from the Saturday Whangarei Growers Market and surplus, home-grown fruit and vegetables donated by individuals. The centre buys grain, rice, butter and other ingredients used in the vegetarian meals.
HELP: Food For Life needs more volunteers like Kelly Fleming, who has helped out for the past four years.