26 Dec Taranaki charity feeding the hungry gets new base
The New Year will bring a fresh beginning for a Taranaki charity feeding the hungry.
On The House, the brainchild of New Plymouth woman Rebekah Bell, has for two years been collecting surplus food from organisations around the city and distributing it to those in need.
The venture’s success, expanding to provide more than 90 individuals and families with weekly food parcels, created problems with it outgrowing its base and requiring a paid co-ordinator to keep things running smoothly.
The charity held its last day for 2019 on December 19, and Bell was uncertain when it would reopen.
But now she can say it will resume its services from February 6 at new premises in the Community Hall, next to the Knox Church on Henui St, Strandon, under the guidance of co-ordinator Anna-Marie Luke.
“She is really passionate about people and reducing food poverty and food waste,” Bell said.
“I always had trust that things would work through and they definitely have.”
Bell said Luke was a dream come true and the new venue would allow the venture, which has around 40 suppliers and about employs 35 volunteers, to continue to grow and expand.
“We couldn’t be in a better position.”
Luke, who has previously worked as a volunteer manager for Kaibosh Food Rescue in Wellington, said she was thrilled about her new role and passionate about helping those in need.
“When this role came up I was super excited and felt like it was meant to be,” she said.
“The bottom line for me is I don’t think anybody should be hungry. I don’t think that’s right especially in a country like New Zealand where we do have bounty and supply.”
Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki development officer Lance Pilbrow said he had following the organisation on Facebook and liked what what they were doing so offered them the new home.
“It’s just totally in line with what churches want to be about.”
Bell said in time the trust would increase the number of days it’s open and she was looking forward to 2020.
“It’s going to be a smashing year.”
– Taranaki Daily News