Lyndale Care diversional therapist Jo Hayes with Masterton FoodBank co-ordinator Lyn Tankersley at the Lyndale Care Food Share Pantry. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND

Sharing food among all the community

Emily Ireland

A Masterton rest home now has a tasty addition to its premises – a food cupboard where anyone from the community can drop off surplus produce or foodstuffs and pick up something else for the table.

Lyndale Care, tucked into Coradine St, just off Cole St in Masterton, was buzzing last Tuesday as it officially opened its Food Share Pantry.

Residents sat in rows of chairs as they watched Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson and the facility’s diversional therapist Jo Hayes untie the ribbon on the large white pantry.

Creating the food pantry at the rest home was Jo’s idea – she had seen a similar concept on Carterton’s main street – and several others exist throughout Wairarapa.

Mervyn Brown, Stephen Brown, and Jeff Hayes working on the Lyndale Care Food Share Pantry. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

It was also the last legacy of master builder and Rotarian Mervyn Brown, who died on November 5 last year.

“The journey really started about two years ago when we turned the flower garden into a vegetable garden,” Jo said.

“From that vegetable garden, we supply the kitchen with anything we grow, which then goes on the plates for the residents.

“They see the garden through from the start, right through to the eating.”

So, when she saw Carterton’s food cupboard, she thought – “what a wonderful idea”.

Jo spoke with Masterton FoodBank co-ordinator Lyn Tankersley who thought the idea was “fantastic” – in fact, Masterton FoodBank had several food pantries in the making at that stage to distribute throughout Masterton.

“Lyn was more than happy for me to run with this idea and see if I could get some sponsors together to help.”

Businesses and organisations which supported the Lyndale Care Food Share Pantry together were MB Brown, Rotary Club of Masterton, Tumu ITM, AT Roofing, Resene Colour Shop, Ziggy’s Glass, Select Signs, Higgins Concrete and 2K Design.

Jo said while the pantry was being constructed at MB Brown, some Lyndale residents popped over to help, donning hard hats.

“The idea behind this is that although we have some ordinary Food Bank items in here – that is just the basis of the cupboard – it’s more about bringing the community together with our produce out of our gardens, our apples off our trees, our lemons from our bushes, oranges, carrots, anything you might have in your garden that you have a surplus of,” Jo said.

“It’s not for just the needy to use this cupboard, it’s for absolutely everyone to share.”

Lyndale Care manager Mary Leighton said one of the rest home’s quality initiatives for the year was to enhance their “community connection”.

“We wanted to reach out into our community and have them come and see us,” she said.

“What a wonderful way to get that community engagement.”

Masterton FoodBank has three Food Share pantries ready to be installed and would like people or businesses to express their interest in having one.

To express your interest, contact Masterton FoodBank on 06-370 8034 or mastertonfoodbank@gmail.com