Community cupboard calls for give and take
by Sophie Rishworth
A community pantry will work only if people take what they need, and people bring what they have in surplus.
But it is worth a shot if it helps struggling people and families, says organiser Gabrielle Tamihana.
This is food cupboard No.1 for Gisborne, with another community pantry scheduled to open in Kaiti next week.
This one opened yesterday in Elgin — a large shelving unit stocked full of donated items.
Ms Tamihana saw a story about an Auckland suburb doing the same thing and knew people here needed help too.
She remembers her mum raising her and five siblings on her own.
“We struggled a lot and having something like this around would have been great. Today people are still struggling and it is 2018.”
The food is free and comes with no strings attached, she said.
But everyone is realistic. The only way this community-driven project will succeed is if it is community-patrolled as well.
Jazz Barnett helps with Feed Tairawhiti and mentored Ms Tamihana on how to contribute to community change.
Mrs Barnett sourced the shelves from a second-hand shop and upcycled them.
The shelves have no door so this is also a request for any builder who could pop doors on, she says.