Pou Whakaaro supports people with disabilities, mental health issues and/or addictions to achieve their goals and gain independence and inclusion within their community. This is achieved by offering a variety of programs focusing on life skills and employment, as well as offering one on one support.
Pou Whakaaro’s café and its commercial kitchen is a key element supporting a number of these activities and the Sutherland Self Help Trust was delighted to fund the purchase of a new commercial oven, fridge and freezer. The new equipment has increased storage and cooking capacity and has resulted in a reduction in food waste occurring due to food needing to be stacked in the previous smaller fridge.
Pou Whakaaro first put the new kitchen equipment to use to provide over 300 meals to people in need over Covid-19 lockdowns. Since then, it has supported projects such as Pou Whakaaro’s “Healthy Eating for Living Well” initiative where participants learn to cook healthy meals and about budgeting and nutrition over a 4-week period.
Another project involved groups of people learning to cook and engaging in reciprocity. The group gave their time and leaned cooking skills and the meals cooked were frozen and delivered to struggling families and recent dischargees from the Mental Health unit.
The kitchen is also used for community projects teaching “healthy eating on a budget” and “healthy school lunch boxes” as well as facilitating one on one cooking lessons for people who require individual life skill coaching and pre-employment skill-based learning.
Pou Whakarro plans to continue to support its programmes for years to come and to grow opportunities for new community groups. As well as providing meals to those in need, its cooking projects have strengthen participants resilience and increased their independence. As well as gaining life skills, participants also formed new friendships which was particularly welcome after recent Covid-19 lockdowns.
The new oven in action!
“The funding for the fridge and oven has been a huge change to the Café. The Team are very proud of the new equipment. On behalf of the Team I offer our sincere thanks for the funding from everyone that uses the Cafe.”