Pātaka Kai - Community Feeding The Community

Sept. 10, 2018, 3:27 p.m.

Kaitaia whānau in need are being fed through a pātaka kai, based on traditional Māori storage pantries.

Open The Curtains (OTC) set up the pātaka kai outside its office on 60 North Rd in late August.

Like traditional Māori food storage pantries, the pātaka kai is open for anyone to contribute to and take from, says OTC’s Trudy Brown.

The stall manages itself now, with an even number of people giving and taking, she says.

“We know our whānau are really good at giving and they’re really good at taking what they need.”

OTC’s Moana Erickson encourages whānau to take from the cupboard without feeling whakamā.

“There is no shame in coming and helping yourself,” she says.

“If you haven’t got enough and there’s something here that’s going to benefit your dinner, come and get it and feel good about it,” Erickson says.

Brown says many of the whānau benefiting from the pātaka kai are two-income families who are also struggling.

“It’s not just our beneficiaries. This is a really easy way of getting food into those households – you don’t have to meet any criteria, you don’t have to fill in any forms, all you have to do is turn up and take kai.

Also based out of the OTC office during the week Hone Harawira gets to see local whānau and residents from all backgrounds benefiting from the pātaka kai.

Erickson is grateful to those who contribute food to the pātaka kai, often on a daily basis. “A big kia ora to them – it wouldn’t work without them.”

Tags: Paataka Kai

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