Vol­un­teer kitchen needs your help

Cafe pro­vides meals for chil­dren, pub­lic

Whangarei Report - - Front Page - By Kristin Edge

‘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.

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