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Flyer drop helps Newstart Gardens identify the hungry
Yellow flyers, offering free vegetables to people in need, have started appearing in letterboxes in New Plymouth. Read the story from Stuff below.
New Start Gardens, an initiative of the New Plymouth Seventh-Day Adventist Church, is pushing deeper into the community to offer its vegetables, bread and baked goods to people who may be struggling, committee chairman Ian Littlewood.
"We used to do Marfell, Cook St. But these days people have been moved out, so there's lots of empty places. The van has music, kind of like Mr Whippy, and people would come out. But now we are trying to diversify and find out where there are more people in need. That's what the leaflet was about."
The garden has been going in one form or another for 25 years, he said.
"It's been around quite a while. There have been many changes along the way and many different sponsors."
Bobbie Littlewood and Ann McDowell harvest produce from the garden to be given away.
The gardens are maintained by volunteers and more would be welcome, Littlewood said. As would help from a handyman.
At the moment the gardens are a bit bare, so he is buying some vegetables, such as pumpkins and onions, to supplement what they are growing. But come spring it will be a different story.
"Once spring comes we get very busy planting."
They have a three-pronged programme, Littlewood said.
"We have people who go to [different bakeries to] get bread. Then there are people who work in the gardens. Then the third group take the van out and distribute the vegetables."
Littlewood isn't sure of the exact number of deliveries, but said it could up to 40 every Friday afternoon.
"We do it because there is a need. And as a Christian organisation we have feelings towards people less fortunate than us."
Vegetables in the gardens are given away to anyone who has a need.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the same attitude and people take vegetables out of the garden without permission.
"You look and think, 'We have capsicums growing, that means a bucketful for next week'. Then you come back and where have they gone? I don't know who it is. I don't want to know."
And a few weeks ago six trays of seedlings were stolen, Littlewood said.
"It was just before they were to be planted out. I don't know what they are going to so with them."
What we try to do here is also about education, about helping people get back into community. They also let others use the land for their gardens, he said, such as Tui Ora and Pathways, and Land Based Training.
Anyone who needs help and would like a box of vegetables can all 0284 024 094 or go on the Facebook page Newstart Garden New Plymouth.
By Helen Harvey