Successful food rescue charity Nourished for Nil is opening its third branch in Flaxmere.
The non-profit organisation first started in Hastings in 2017 with a mission to rescue and redistribute high-quality food, which would otherwise go to waste, to the people of Hawke's Bay for free.
The main store is currently located on Karamu Rd and in March this year a second branch in Napier opened at Turning Point Church on Cranby Crescent.
Founder Christina McBeth said the choice to open a Flaxmere branch is to increase the scope of the service to include neighbourhoods outside the Hastings CBD.
The community centre made contact with Nourished for Nil and after consultation and a site visit, she decided it was the right fit.
"We are excited to seize this opportunity to expand into Flaxmere and share our Mahi with the community," she said.
She anticipates between 100 and 150 people coming to the Flaxmere service.
There are currently people coming from Flaxmere to the Hastings service but as they don't ask people to provide details, they are unsure exactly how many McBeth said.
Hastings District Council acting group manager community wellbeing and services Dennise Elers said the position of the Flaxmere Community Centre in the community makes it a good fit for Nourished for Nil.
"Our position in the community allows us to have a positive relationship where people feel welcome no matter their walk of life."
"Hastings District Council is always looking for ways to assist and improve the lives of our communities – this service being located at the community centre is an excellent way to provide support," she said.
Flaxmere councillor Henare O'Keefe hopes it will help fill the void for people who are struggling with food security.
"It's an illustration that there's a huge void there, that there are people going without despite our best efforts there are still people with no food on the table, it's a real plight on us all."
The service operates to redirect food which would otherwise end up in the landfill. They don't buy in food and anyone is welcome to access the service.
Post-Covid demand has increased with many new faces visiting the food rescue stores, but more than anything numbers have remained steady when they used to fluctuate, she said.
Between the two current services about 200-320 people are served a day.
Nourished for Nil was among other groups and individuals recognised for their contribution to society at this year's Hastings District Council Civic Honours Awards a month ago.
The Hastings service is open Mondays from 4.30 to 6pm, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4.30 to 5.30pm and for seniors only on Thursday mornings from 10 to 11am.
The Napier service operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5pm. Published by Hawke's Bay Today, 29.09.20