Give when you can and take when you’re in need – what a wonderful way for people within communities to look after each other. Pātaka Kai free open street pantries promote food sharing and are expanding throughout New Zealand with 117 now in operation and 53 under construction. This article shares the philosophy behind the Pātaka Kai movement and explains the many benefits of a community initiative such as this one.

Click here to see where there’s a pantry near you.

Our Story

“Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket we will sustain the people”

Regenerating the Past

The (Pātaka Kai) Open Street Pantry Movement is a resident led, grassroots, crowd sourced solution to immediate and local need, rescuing food and encouraging the co-sharing between neighbours to strengthen communities.  Whether a need for food or a need to give, the Open Street Pantry Movement facilitates neighbours helping neighbours, building community.

All street pātaka (pantries) are stocked organically.  Those who wish to contribute may do so at their own discretion when convenient.  Kai has a role of nourishing whanau tinana and wairua, while reducing stress and promoting the values of koha and manaaki.  This is a way of celebrating as a culture, as an iwi, as a people.  It’s about that whole sense of manaakitanga.

This is a judgement free movement.  This is not a new idea.  Our ancestors have done this in many shapes & forms in the past and our neighbours over in the U.S.A have done an amazing job doing this with their own version of Little Free pantries all over the united states.  We are committed to promoting Community Empowerment, Supporting the growth of the many assets that already exist in our communities within residents, enabling Inter-generational connectedness and turning strangers into neighbours.

Pantry of Aroha

HOW DOES IT WORK?  So the idea is – you TAKE what you NEED and LEAVE what you CAN.  It’s open 24/7, no appointments required, no form filling, no criteria, there is no koha (donation) tin or money exchanged for anything.  It is literally go have a look, if you need something please help yourself.  If you can leave something, know that your community THANKS you. Also NO ONE mans or watches the pātaka every minute of every day, this really is an open pantry to our community.

We can mitigate food insecurity with this movement

It creates a space for conversation

It’s a very tangible way to help thy neighbour

We’re turning strangers into neighbours & strengthen community bonds

The proverbial cup of sugar that you borrow from your neighbour becomes this place.

 It’s free 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No form filling, easy to access & no judgments passed. We ALL need a hand every now and then.

Community Ownership

WHO OWNS THIS PĀTAKA KAI (KAI PANTRY)? We ALL do.  This is a community effort and we’re just providing the vehicle for it to happen.  It belongs to all of us so we all should look after it.  Just keep an eye on it, keep it tidy, please don’t leave any big boxes or big rubbish bags behind, and definitely please DO NOT leave behind ANY clothing.  The pātaka is only for FOOD – non perishables, fruit & veges from your gardens.  NO HOT FOOD PLEASE!  Just think about the health & safety of others.