It was two hungry tamariki knocking on Foxton resident Linda Lake’s door 5 years ago that jolted her into action.  For Linda, it was natural to feed these children, but she soon realised that there was a wider need in the Foxton community for a service that provides furniture, clothing, food and most importantly love and respect to whānau who are struggling.  Te Awahou Kai started in Linda’s home, she pickup up donated goods and then gave them to people in need.  Te Awahou Kai soon grew out of her home, and they moved to an empty class at Foxton School.  From there they have moved a few times, taking advantage of empty spaces which, the volunteers filled with donated goods and aroha.   Linda understands the challenges people on the margins face as she has been there herself, she knows that more than just kai, people need love, respect, and a chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit! 

A friendly wave from Linda was what drew Melissa Paterson into Te Awahou Kai over 3 years ago and she has been volunteering there ever since.  Mel loves seeing the look on people’s faces as they pick up their free food and she knows that the work she is doing is making world of difference to their customers.   

Linda and  Mel volunteer upwards of 30 hours a week each, picking up donated goods, delivering food parcels, supervising their wonderful team of volunteers, and of course, serving the people that pop in.

Both Linda and Mel love what they do, but they acknowledge that despite their best efforts the demand for their services in Foxton has grown in the last 3 years. Mel and Linda have a strong friendship full of laughter and tears, forged through the years of helping others to help themselves.  They are unsung heroes of the Foxton, bringing their community together for the single purpose of supporting each other through the tough times.

Te Awahou Kai relies on community donations and are thankful to all the organisations such as Just Zilch, Hope Kēte and the food industry that help them operate.  At present they are short of food and would love individual whānau and businesses to donate their surplus kai to support the people of Foxton.

You can find out more by following them on Facebook on or emailing 027 221 3561

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