Staff at SociaLink and Volunteering Services turned into chefs for a couple of days last week to provide meals for Kura Kai as their contribution to National Volunteer Week.
In four teams they cooked up a tuna bake, pork ragu, spaghetti carbonara and butter chicken, making 48 meals for Kura Kai, with ingredients paid for by corporates which work at their headquarters at The Kollective – accountants William Buck, Kanuka Wellbeing and Leadership, The Kollective and Isthmus.
Founder Makaia Carr said Kura Kai has 39 schools and 1000 volunteers, and has donated 40,000 meals to schools to distribute. These meals will go to Te Puke High School.
“We raise funds to purchase chest freezers, which we donate to the high schools we support. We then build a local community of volunteers who give their time, money and resources to cook nutritious family meals to help keep the freezers well stocked.
“Each school is then responsible for identifying the need and distributing the meals to support our rangatahi and their whānau.”
She said they support secondary schools because a completed secondary education is to the future of rangatahi or young people.
It also teaches young people the value of caring for their community and they are encouraged to look out for tāngata, whānau and kaumātua who need support and to use Kura Kai for those in need.
“If it wasn’t for the kindness and continued effort of our volunteers within Kura Kai we would not be able to support the number of schools, rangatahi and whānau that we currently do,” Makaia said.
“We understand times are tough for a lot of people right now, so to be receiving delicious home cooked meals from our volunteers to keep our school freezers full is hugely appreciated.
“The need across Aotearoa for added support in the home seems to be growing by the day, so we welcome anybody who would love to become a volunteer for Kura Kai and join our kaupapa. It’s easy, it’s flexible and very fulfilling to know simple home cooked meals can go a long way to helping others.”
Volunteering Services Western Bay of Plenty is now operated under SociaLink which supports the Western Bay of Plenty social and community sector.