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Community Kai marks milestone

Community Kai [CK], which is facilitated and funded by Masterton Community Church [MCC], recently celebrated its one-year anniversary earlier this month.

Every Monday, CK volunteers provide a free hearty dinner for roughly 100 people.

The organisation is the result of the desire of CK coordinator Jo-Anne Twiggins to help those in the community who are facing hardship.

MCC Senior Pastor Pete Hampson told the Times-Age that, with the backing of the church, Twiggins and fellow coordinator Michelle Koskela got together a team of volunteers.

“We’re getting great turnouts – the place is full, and all the tables are packed,” Hampson said.

“Everyone can come down and enjoy the atmosphere. We have guys who turn up and play music.”

Last year, MCC received a grant from Trust House to help upgrade equipment for CK and ‘Room at the Inn’ – Masterton’s Town Hall Christmas dinner.

As well as providing a weekly meal, the initiative is helping to combat loneliness.

“One of the things that we’ve noticed in society at the moment is that there is a lot of loneliness,” Hampson said.

“This is a place where people can come along to build relationships. There’s no expectation, it’s completely free – they can come in and walk out.”

Hampson said that, over the past year, he has noticed new people attending CK every week and overall numbers becoming more consistent.

“Some of them are families that are struggling and finding it tough, and some are people who are just wanting to do something and get out of the house.

“Most of it is because it’s a good free meal, and with the economic struggle at the moment, it’s really tough on people out there,” he said.

Much of the food CK receives comes from Wai Waste – a food rescue organisation that supplies all the necessities to make a nutritious meal for the community.

Featuring everything from pasta and rice dishes to shepherd’s pie and sausages, each week the menu is different.

Wai Waste coordinator Aaron Middleton said that Wai Waste’s job is to save food from going to landfill, and providing help to CK’s meal programme is a bonus for the organisation.

“It’s great that it’s not going into the landfill or being wasted, and they can do a fantastic service for everyone,” Middleton said.

  • Community Kai, every Monday 5:30pm, 117 Ngaumutawa Rd, Masterton.

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