04 Dec Take What You Need, Give What You Can
A new community partnership between local residents and Pakuranga College is providing an opportunity to reduce waste and help low income families.
The man responsible for this initiative is local resident, Dr Hisham Alshaikhli, who is a lecturer at AUT. “I was thinking about buying a food stand to put outside my house,” he says, “So that local people could share surplus produce”.
Dr Alshaikhli’s two children both attended Pakuranga College until recently. When he and his wife Luma attended the school’s annual open day, they met Dudley Young, who teaches Technology at the school. The two men quickly hatched a plan to produce high quality food stands so that produce could be shared in the community.
“As part of the curriculum, our Year 13 students are required to collaborate on a project for a real client. As part of this, they must meet the client’s requirements, using the most appropriate materials and techniques at their disposal”, said Mr Young. “We have produced four food stands for Dr Alshaikhli’s project. The students have really enjoyed it, and we are planning to continue the scheme next year”.
To make the final product as sustainable as possible, students used as many recycled materials as possible; even making use of the corrugated metal roof panels that were recently replaced on the college’s Technology block.
“This scheme provides so many benefits”, said Dr Alshaikhli: “It reduces waste by allowing residents to share excess produce, as well as using recycled materials for the stands themselves. It also helps low income families, who may be in need, and brings the community together.”
The food stands have now been distributed throughout Auckland, with one outside Dr Alshaikhli’s house on Aviemore Drive. Others have been taken to Laingholm Community Hall and Onehunga Primary School. The final stand will be installed outside Pakuranga College.
As part of next year’s project, Mr Young aims to use even more recycled materials. Local companies or individuals who would like to donate off-cuts of timber that are in good condition can contact him at the school: YNG@pakuranga.schoo.nz.
Local residents and representatives of schools and community groups who are interested in setting up a food stand, can visit the Fruit and Veg Stand Group on Facebook for more information:
by Roisin Lamb
Photo: From Left to right Mr Dudley Young, Mark Tuisalega (Year 13), Dr Hisham Alshaikhli, Stanley Farrani (Year 13), Ethan Laban (Year 13) and Melvin Tuulaupua (Year 13).