Sharing kai

By: Caitlin Watson

The Coast has recently seen the introduction of new community meal initiatives. Now Whangaparāoa, Ōrewa and Silverdale have free dinner meals on offer – the latest additions being St Chads Church in Ōrewa and Coast Vineyard Church in Silverdale. They have all teamed up with Love Soup to help provide a free, nutritious and most certainly delicious meal to our community on the Coast. Meals and More in Silverdale is kicking off this month and will be running on the second Sunday of every month. As the organiser of Meals and More, I would love to share a bit about the heart and soul behind the new initiative.

At Meals and More, our team will provide a warm and hearty meal in a family-friendly environment. However, as the name suggests, there is so much more to it than just a meal on a plate. There is the space to connect as we gather around the dinner table. You’ll often find it’s the case that there is something special about gathering around the dinner table with family or friends. The conversations that are sparked, the laughs that are shared and the community that is built is something that brings great warmth and joy. We hope to welcome people from all parts of our Coast Whanau to enjoy kai, korero and whanaungatanga – food, conversation and connection.

This is an open space for everyone. Perhaps coming along for dinner may help to alleviate the pressure from a family who are struggling to make ends meet that week. Maybe it can help provide the opportunity for a solo parent to put their feet up and to instead of serving, be served and cared for. Or it could be a space where someone who is looking for social connection gets to make new friends on the Coast. The beautiful thing about community meals is that it can bring people together from all walks of life.

And it gets better. Thanks to the team at Love Soup, Meals and More and all the community meals on the Coast use quality food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Food from places like supermarkets is able to be repurposed and enjoyed. In a country which is estimated to waste $872 million worth of food a year, equating to 122,500 tonnes of food sent to landfills (enough to feed everyone in Dunedin for two years), Love Soup is making a tremendous impact in the areas of poverty and the environment.

So wherever you are on the Coast, there is now a community meal on offer just down the road. So don’t be shy…. do drop by, say hi and enjoy some kai!

Coast Vineyard Church, 13 Agency Lane Silverdale, from 5.30pm (second Sunday of the month), St Chads Church, 117 Centreway Rd, from 5.30pm (last Sunday of the month), Whangaparāoa Hall, 719 Whangaparāoa Rd, from 5.30pm (every Sunday).

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