“From 12 orders the first week, we grew, and within a few weeks another community member volunteered to take a carload to Eketahuna. By the end of the first couple of months of doing it our cars could no longer cope with the load. So now we have started our own hub with the fruit and veges being delivered to us and a group of volunteers packing up here every Thursday during school term times.
“We have two pick-up times in Pahiatua at St Peter’s Church, who kindly give us their hall for the day, and a volunteer who transports orders to Eketahuna for pick-up from the library there. In Pahiatua we originally just had one pick-up time but extended it so we have one at school pickup time in the afternoon and one after work, so we can cater for more people.”
The buying and ordering is all done through FoodTogether.co.nz
who are a social organisation enabling coops like this across the country. It is the same organisation that the Awapuni co-op in Palmerston North is run through. Help with publicising the scheme in Palmerston North and Tararua has been organised by MidCentral Public Health who have made leaflets, and put it on social media.
You order through the website above, by midday Wednesday for Thursday pick-up. Or you can pay cash in advance the week before at one of the pick-up points. People can order as often as they like or infrequently, there is no commitment required to join.
“We usually get 30-40 orders each week, with a customer base of over 70 so far. We are of course keen to grow as not only will this help get fresh nutritious affordable food to more of our community, but the bigger we are the more we can get for our money. As well as providing fruit and veges we actually have a very social time packing too, with a great group of volunteers. Anyone is welcome to help with packing which is done from 11am on Thursday mornings.”
Coordinator health promotion, public health services Sharon Vera said: “Eating vegetables and fruit is an important way to keep healthy which is why we are supporting the growth of vege co-ops.”
Pickup points (from 19 October on) are: St.Peter’s Church Pahiatua 2.40pm-3.20pm and 5.20pm-6pm; and Eketahuna Library 3.30pm-4.30pm on Thursdays during school term times.