January 25, 2021

Free Food Forum continues in West Auckland

As New Zealanders, we believe in fairness and compassion. We want everyone to have the opportunity to thrive. But right now, some communities are doing much better than others based on factors such as where they live and how much they earn.

Access to healthy and affordable food is critical for healthy and well whānau and after the second COVID-19 lockdown in August, a group of organisations working in food relief banded together to better coordinate their resources. Healthy Families Waitākere Systems Innovator and member of Kai West, Megan Beard, explains.

“For many people around Aotearoa, the lockdown measures which protected them from COVID-19 also halted their work and income – leaving them wondering how they’ll access the basic resources to survive. For these people, the pandemic intensified the threat of an equally dire crisis – hunger.”

Since the middle of 2020, Kai West has been convening an ongoing forum where organisations with shared values are exploring how to build a pathway to work together to efficiently coordinate food relief across West Auckland.

Those taking part in the forum shared the benefits accomplished through working together. One participant commented.

“We’ve noticed funders are more receptive our funding applications, they’re able to see the opportunities collective impact offers and are keen to see the initiative progress.”

The collective is currently exploring the food relief system across West Auckland to identify where they can achieve more collective impact. Coordinated responses by community groups working in partnership ensures support reaches families in need quickly. The forum is working to position itself towards not only having a better coordinated food relief system, but also what it would take to achieve food resilience in West Auckland.

Organisations who have been involved in the Free Food Forum:

Te Whānau o Waipareira, Vision West, The Fono, Salvation Army Waitākere, Pataka Kai volunteers, Kai Collective from Kindred Family Services (Helensville), Community Waitākere , Auckland Council, Fair Food NZ, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi and Community organisations and churches that hold community dinners, distribute food parcels and have community pataka

About Kai West

Kai West is a collective of organisations embedded in the West Auckland community with a shared kaupapa of strengthening local food systems to increase food security and resilience. Current membership includes Healthy Families Waitākere, WEST, MPHS, Massey Matters, EcoMatters and Community Waitākere.