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New Fund Kōanga Kai Helps Whānau Build Healthy And Sustainable Kai Production Practices

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is excited to announce the development of Kōanga Kai, a new fund that will support whānau to build traditional, healthy and sustainable food production practices, and is calling for expressions of interest from vendors and suppliers.

Pouārahi Helen Leahy says that Kōanga Kai has been developed in response to increased demand for food vouchers via Puna, the emergency relief fund offered by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

“Our Puna fund was established last year in response to COVID-19, and since then nearly 1,000 whānau have been provided with kai vouchers to support their immediate household needs,” says Ms Leahy. “Our team came up with the idea for Kōanga Kai to address this and to give whānau the tools to grow and produce their own kai.”

Kōanga Kai will provide physical resources like seeds, soil, planter boxes and raised garden beds, as well as ongoing mentorship that will help whānau learn how to grow food in their own home, as well as other food production practices like hunting, foraging and preserving.

“The intention is to encourage whānau to step into their self-determination by putting them in charge of creating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle,” says Ms Leahy. “Kōanga Kai is all about sustainability – sustainable for the environment, and for a family’s finances.”

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is now seeking expressions of interest from individuals, whānau entities and other vendors who can help deliver Kōanga Kai to whānau.

“We are looking for people who are passionate about growing and producing kai and want to share their knowledge,” says Ms Leahy. “We also need vendors who can supply whānau with the resources they need to get started in their kai production journey.”

Expressions of interest are open now at www.teputahitanga.org/koanga-kai.

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