Food for Life fire up new ovens to feed hungry kids

Manaia PHO's Chris Farrelly, left, and Ngaire Rae cut the ribbon, watched by Food for Life trustee David Martin and founder Buddhi Wilcox. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Manaia PHO’s Chris Farrelly, left, and Ngaire Rae cut the ribbon, watched by Food for Life trustee David Martin and founder Buddhi Wilcox. Photo / Michael Cunningham

By Lindy Laird

Food for Life founder Buddhi Wilcox is baking a batch of pinwheels in two new ovens funded by a Manaia PHO grant when a woman from the Whangarei Bee Club drops off a 10kg bucket of honey.

It is a fitting symbol of how the community pulls together to help Food for Life’s school dinner programme.

“It’s wonderful and things like this happen every day,” a grateful Mr Wilcox says.

Food for Life trustee David Martin, Manaia PHO chief executive Chris Farrelly and health promotions manager Ngaire Rae are also tickled pink as the honey is handed over.

“There’s something else happening here, apart from feeding people,” Mr Farrelly said of the gesture, steeped in the ethic of sharing.

The group is at the Water St premises for the ribbon cutting to celebrate the Christchurch-made Moffat catering ovens the trust has bought with a $600 grant from the PHO’s Tamariki Ora Community Action Fund.

Mr Wilcox, who only in 2012 founded the centre that provides free, nutritious vegetarian meals weekly to more than 1000 Whangarei schoolchildren (that will amount to 50,000 meals this year) said the ovens will help get those meals prepared and delivered more efficiently.

Food for Life is one of four groups to receive a share of the $20,000 the PHO set aside. “The idea of that fund is to support ground roots community efforts in making a difference for children in need,” Ms Rae said.

Nationally, school lunches are back on the agenda, with former Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira’s Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment Bill picked up by the Green Party.

In the meantime, individuals continue to give to the Food for Life trust so its volunteers can feed Whangarei kids without waiting for the Government.

The trust was recently given a van by a man who read about its need for a vehicle suitable for transporting food to the schools. He was going to sell the van until he read about Food for Life’s plight in the Northern Advocate.

By the way, the pinwheels were delicious.

SOURCE: – Northern Advocate

Picture of Paul Turner

Paul Turner

Paul Turner co-founded Food for Life Global in 1995. He is a former monk, a veteran of the World Bank, entrepreneur, holistic life coach, vegan chef, and author of 6 books, including, FOOD YOGA, 7 maxims for soul happiness.

MR. Turner has traveled to 72 countries over the last 35 years helping to establish Food for Life projects, train volunteers, and document their success.

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