New Zealand

Food for Life fire up new ovens to feed hungry kids

Manaia PHO

By Lindy Laird Friday Oct 24, 2014 – 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 […]

Food for Life in New Zealand making positive changes in the community


Food for Life in the Northern Island of New Zealand received two glowing articles in the Whangarei Leader. One article featured volunteer Vanessa Hodgon who has served at the FFL kitchen for the last 18 months, while the other reported on the Corrections’ Vegetable Garden that supplies the FFL kitchen and the Salvation Army food bank Reporter Penelope McConnell wrote: “Last Tuesday they were lined up at the door,” said Vanessa. “On a rainy, cold day people like to come in for a hot meal. We definitely have our regulars.” When Hodgon moved to Whangarei she found she needed things to do and a way to get out of the house and meet new people. She looks forward to volunteering every Wednesday and often turns up early to ensure everything is clean and ready to go.  “This area at the front is my domain,” she says. “Everyone gets to know each other, there is no stress and we have a nice meal together.”  The other article reported on Food for Life’s innovative program for engaging prisoners in the charity’s good work. The article was titled: OFFENDERS TURN HAND TO HELP. Reporter, Alexandra Newlove said: More than 400 offenders are quietly righting their wrongs in the Whangarei community. We hardly hear of them, but the thousands of men and women sentenced to community work each year help maintain our schools, parks, marae, churches and cemeteries.  Community service manager Jay Wain in the Corrections’ Vegetable Garden that is maintained by offenders, said: “We are very proud of this garden, seedlings are supplied by Mitre 10 and Bunnings and the food grown here is donated to Food for Life and the Salvation Army.” To learn more about Food for Life in New Zealand and how you can get involved or support the project visit: Email: 022 1218908 Visit:  26 Water […]

Food for Life in New Zealand brings unity to the community


May 24 – Whangerei, New Zealand FFL Director, Paul Rodney Turner, was the special guest at the Manaia primary school in Whangarei, New Zealand, which is one the schools selected by FFL Northern Island to receive a free lunch. One day a week the children are fed a sumptuious vegetarian feast by Hare Krishna Food for Life Northern Islands, run by Buddhimanta Khan Das and his staff of volunteers. Before the event, Paul gave a small talk on the power of food to unite and it became very obvious once the serving began just how powerful this message was. “There is a real sense of unity here,” explained one of the teachers, as the older students went about serving lunch to the younger students. “Even  the parents get involved with cleaning, and all us teachers also sit down to eat with the kids.” Todays meal was a sweet and sour vegetable stew, rice and a vanilla semolina pudding (halava). The students relished the lunch and then grooved to some dance music as they cleaned the entire hall. Feeding children at Manaia school in New Zealand (28 photos on FACEBOOK) To learn more about Food for Life Global visit or if you are in New Zealand, please get involved in this absolutely wonderful project, visit: