Wastebusters community produce stand wanaka

Now that winter hibernation is over and your garden is starting to come alive for the season, it’s time to spread the love and share your excess kai.

Did you know that there are 10 incredible Community Produce Stands dotted around Upper Clutha? This amazing initiative was set up in 2021 by the Food Security Network in Wānaka to increase access to healthy food for anybody in the community while reducing food waste. The project encourages people to share excess fruits and vegetables from their gardens which would otherwise go to landfill.

“The food pantries are managed by local people which fosters a sense of community and people can help support their neighbourhood. It is a place to share excess fruit and vegetables from their gardens which may otherwise have gone to landfill,” said Yvonne Walker, Food Security Project Coordinator from Community Networks/Link.

 “With the high increased cost of living it has become apparent how many families are struggling to access food. Our food pantries give our community access to food, a strong sense of community and reduces food waste.”

Wastebusters is a founding member of the Food Security Network and has a food pantry at their reuse shop entrance. Communications Manager Ruth Blunt said there are pantries dotted all around the Upper Clutha designed to share kai. “From Wasties to the Community Hub, and Luggate to Hāwea, the network of pantries has grown since the project started a few years ago,” she said. “Community pantries are for everyone – whether you rescue some food by taking what you need, or by finding your nearest pantry and sharing your surplus kai, you’re helping the food-sharing economy thrive.”

The group is encouraging anybody with surplus fruit or veggies this summer to share it through the network of pantries. You can use the stands to share fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, herbs, jams, preserves, and baked goods (see here for the full list). Anything you share is one less thing going to waste – and by taking produce home, you’re contributing to a healthy sharing economy.

Find the closest produce stand to you here:
Wānaka Community Hub, 34 McDougall Street
Wānaka Recreation Centre, 41 Sir Tim Wallis Drive
Wānaka Wastebusters, Ballantyne Road
Grow Wānaka, Outlet Road

Albert Town
Sherwin Avenue

Lake Hāwea Community Centre, 28 Myra Street
Kanuka Corner Early Childhood Centre, Francis Lane
Sharing Shed, Hāwea Flat
Camphill Coffee, 546 Camp Hill Road, Hāwea Flat

Hopkins Street

The food security working group consists of Community Networks/Link, Wastebusters, QLDC, Food for Love, Grow Wānaka, Kahu Youth, Hāwea Food Forest, Wānaka Vegetable Grower’s Club, and Dr Compost.