The woman who had the seed of an idea about a new way to achieve food security two years ago has seen her dream become reality when she helped a young child plant the first herb in a new community garden in Roskill South recently.
It was a special moment for PSN Community Relationship Manager Anne Overton who is the driving force behind Communities Feeding Communities (CFC), a new initiative focused on food security.
Located on Dominion Rd, CFC provides kai space, pātaka kai, garden allotments and now a new community garden.
“It has been amazing to see the vision behind Communities Feeding Communities realised,” says Anne.
“It wouldn’t have happened without Northern Presbytery and the many people, food producers and growers, schools, businesses, local organisations and groups who have been willing to help since the start.
“Long term we hope CFC will be a community resource centre that will help ensure families who need a helping hand will potentially find one here.”
Two years ago, Anne managed Presbyterian Support Northern’s Khyber Pass foodbank. She noticed during the first COVID-19 lockdown a big increase in people needing food support. Many were embarrassed or ashamed to ask for food.
“We felt there had to be a better way to support people that left their dignity intact, so we formed a partnership with Northern Presbytery and came up with Communities Feeding Communities concept,” says Anne.
“We wanted to work with the local community to discover ways to achieve food security. Establishing a community food garden is one way we can help achieve this.”
CFC now comprises community gardens, garden allotments, a micro-food forest planted with berries and fruit trees, a kai space for emergency food parcels and a pātaka kai (community food pantry). There are plans for an interactive nature play area for children and a basketball court.
Community co-ordinator, Grace Mua, kai transitioner Amy Khyriem and Presbyterian minister Rev Fa’amanū Akeripa are also based on site to engage with the local community and offer support.