Ōtara kindy helps keep families warm, fed with shed full of food and clothing

Over the last year Pātaka Kai has been an open street pantry movement in South Auckland where neighbours and communities co-share their food.

Now an Ōtara kindergarten has followed suit by creating Whānau Pātaka - a gifting and sharing room - to help give back to their community.

The children and families of the Mayfield Kindergarten have used an under-utilised shed to stock food, clothing and items that can help other members of their community.

"We started bringing excess goods from home and just seeing where they would fit, where they were needed," kindergarten teacher Joann Radford told TVNZ's Te Karere. 

"We didn’t want to make the assumption that we needed to give them to individuals and we didn’t want our whānau to feel a bit shy and we had a spare space and we thought about how best we could use this area.

"How do we get together and share what we no longer need? That sustainability in our community without making assumptions or labelling or giving to people we assume have need it was just about supporting each other."

Word of the Whānau Pātaka has spread fast in Ōtara.

Parents of fast-growing kids told Te Karere that Whānau Pātaka has been helpful this winter.

"Most of our kids needed these clothing especially during these cold months. Having this has really helped our kids," one mum said.

Now the kindergarten is looking at ways to reach the wider community.

"The next step of the process is how do we get wider in the community?" says Ms Radford.

"How do we network in outlying areas? Areas that might have a lot of disposable items, just to support each other and how we can make our connections stronger."

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Mayfield Kindergarten has stocked an empty shed full of clothing and food supplies for local families. Source: 1 NEWS

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