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Pick Of The Crop For Hungry Roskill Residents

A major milestone in supporting people with food security was reached in Roskill South this week with the first harvesting of crops grown at the Communities Feeding Communities (CFC) site on Dominion Rd.

CFC Community co-ordinator Grace Mua with some of the fresh produce

CFC is a new model driven at the community level and aimed at increasing food security for families and individuals who need a helping hand.

The CFC site includes community gardens, a kai space and a pātaka kai (food pantry).

Community Coordinator Grace Mua says the newly planted gardens are already producing outstanding crops.

“We’re thrilled to be harvesting our first rocket, mixed salad greens and beetroot from our newly planted urban gardens.

“It’s an exciting milestone for the local community and one that marks the start of something special – the community coming together to grow kai and share with those who need it.”

Grace says the CFC team hand-picks the greens and washes them before packing into salad bags.

The bags then go into the pātaka kai, emergency kai parcels and on to a communal food table alongside bread, onions and potatoes for anyone who needs them.

“This week, salad greens and beetroot were harvested by children from the Auckland Chinese community churches, who made up their own salad mixes.

“Next week, mixed salad greens, beetroot and silverbeet will be ready to harvest,” adds Grace.

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CFC is an inspirational new model which ensures better access to nutritious food at the former St Giles Presbyterian Church site at 1207 Dominion Rd. Although it supplies a limited number of emergency kai parcels to locals and agency clients, the CFC team’s main focus is on working with the local community to discover ways to achieve food security.

Community co-ordinator, Grace Mua, kai co-ordinator Amy Khyriem and community minister Rev Fa’amanū Akeripa are based on site to engage with the local community and offer support.

CFC’s next step is to plant more fruit trees alongside the urban gardens and allotment gardens for people living in apartments or homes without access to the space needed to grow fresh food.

Landscaping to build a community garden with a raised garden bed for people with disabilities is currently underway.

There are also plans for an interactive nature play area for children and a basketball court.

Every Wednesday, the local community is invited to come to Welcome Wednesdays for lunch. Gardening workshops and gardening working bees are planned throughout November. Keep an eye on the CFC facebook page to see upcoming events.

CFC was developed by social services provider Presbyterian Support Northern (PSN) in conjunction with Northern Presbytery, Saint Kentigern Girls’ & Boys’ Schools, other local schools, major food producers and growers, and the local community. Long term, it is hoped that CFC will be a community resource centre.

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