Most read: The South Auckland street where a free food pantry is bringing neighbours together - 'No judgement here'

A community pantry in South Auckland offering people free food that's been donated has spurred the development of over 30 more similar projects.

The Cooper Crescent family has involved locals to give and take what they need, and is opening hearts in the process. Source: Seven Sharp

Locals are invited to give what they can and to take what they need from an outside pantry, or pātaka, in Otara, Seven Sharp reported.

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Swanie Nelson got the Cooper Crescent community pantry project off the ground.

"We executed this as a result of wanting to bring something closer to residents that we knew weren't accessing the free resources in our community. There were still barriers there," she said.

Those barriers to people accessing services include, transport, time and shame. 

"No judgement here, absolutely no judgement," Ms Nelson said at the pantry.

She said no-one has to be at the pantry when someone comes, "they can rock up, get out, load up and go".

"It's bringing communities together and allowing conversations to happen, important ones."

As well as residents, local businesses are also helping out, donating bread daily.

And the kindness is catching. Two women, Mia and Candice, who were asked by Ms Nelson to set up pātaka in their own suburbs, Mangere and Otahuhu, have done so.

Ms Nelson wants to see kai pātaka on every street, and not just in South Auckland.

"We have residential properties that have excess fruit on trees and nobody ever uses it, so it's just a waste.

"I would love to see this go viral because waste is a huge issue in New Zealand. But kai is also a big issue and a lot of people are not getting it."

She may get her wish as 11 community pantries are now open and 20 more are being built.