Our communities have told us the important role food plays in their lives and how it contributes to their wellbeing. It is one of the key ways we share and celebrate culture and family traditions. However, across Aotearoa New Zealand there are too many people experiencing health impacts of a food system that is not meeting the basic needs of our whānau.
Insights from our communities in Taitā, Pomare and Wainuiomata tell the story that access to good food is extremely challenging and often complex. People are short on time, money and energy needed to have access to good food.
Our learnings from exploring the food system tell us that people like to connect over a kai, or through sharing their food with others. Additionally, people are generous, and want to help others when they can. These learnings have led us to testing a Koha Kai pātaka in Taitā, which will focus on connecting whānau and community members to good food that already exists locally.
The vision for the Koha Kai pātaka is that it will connect people through maanaki and sharing of food as well as meeting the needs of those who are finding it difficult to access healthy food day-to-day.
We have taken the opportunity to create the Koha Kai pātaka from recycled materials using a pallet sourced locally. We want to be eco-friendly with our prototypes where we can.
There are many food sharing initiatives across Te Awa Kairangi including Koha Kai. By creating an emphasis on good food and lots of it in our neighbourhoods, it supports whānau to eat well while taking away some of the stress, and giving a space for people to show manaaki and generosity to create a healthier Hutt Valley.
As we move towards putting the Koha Kai pātaka in Taitā we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about how it is working. We are also keen to hear from anyone in the community who may have excess fruit or vegetable produce to share with others in your neighbourhood, or if you are sharing excess kai already, we are keen to hear from you too!