Share, give or take food
Mornington resident Nick Rutledge and his 5-year-old daughter Inara have been putting together small food boxes with all the ingredients needed for one complete meal and leaving them in the South Dunedin community food pantry.
Now the pair have started to drop what they term ‘kai-ndness’ boxes into the new North East Valley community sharing pantry.
A vegan himself, Nick goes shopping with his daughter to put together the ingredients needed to create a complete vegetarian meal for either breakfast, lunch or dinner along with a recipe if needed.
“There is such a need in the community,” says Nick. They left their first lot of food boxes in the valley pantry last month and it was all gone within a few hours.
“I think I have been very lucky that I have a comfortable life and I want to make sure that other people have the same things I have. I don’t want to live in a community where kids and people are hungry.”
Nick says his daughter loves doing it with him and he sees it as a way for them to help the community, the environment and animal welfare.
The new valley sharing pantry is a pilot project as a place for community members to leave, share and take excess food.
The pantry was built by members of the North Dunedin shed, with all the supplies to build it donated by Bunnings. It was painted by students and community member Kaitrin McMullan.
Valley Project community worker Charlotte Wilson says the idea behind the sharing pantry is that it is easily and openly accessible to everybody to leave or take food.
People can drop off excess produce from their garden or drop off other non-perishable food, or take any food that has been left in the pantry.