Partnering with community organisations is important to Habitat, as we believe we can do more together to support our local communities, than on our own. One of these partnerships is with Ōtara Kai Village, where Habitat has provided some of our Ōtara property to be used as a community garden named, Māra Kai. Tauraa volunteers alongside a team of volunteer gardeners and has been involved in the project from the beginning. “I am in Ōtara, for Ōtara. We love it out here. My wife and I have always been community focused so this was just a natural next move,” he said. A wide variety of fresh vegetables are grown on-site. The produce from each harvest is dispersed for free to the local community at the Ōtara Kai Village. The Ōtara Kai Village is a community lead initiative run under the Community Builders NZ Trust. Their vision is to change community mindsets around kai, health and wellbeing. Project Lead, Terangi said, “We have been able to create nutritious food from the community garden. We distribute this on Wednesdays, and it goes into the belly of our whānau.” This is meeting an evident need due to Covid. Terangi said, “Food insecurity is one of the largest issues in this community. It existed before but after Covid, it has moved up a whole new level.” Habitat is proud to partner with Ōtara Kai Village and help support the tangible difference they are making within the community.
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