Updated message from the founders, Karen and David Higgie
11 December, 2023

Hi Folks, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that the Pantry will be closing for 6 months from Dec 15th until June 15th, while work is being done to the house and the Property. We will look at reopening closer to June 15th. If we are able to get funding and foodstuffs, we will definitely reopen then.

We hope you have an amazing Christmas and look forward to the future.


Karen and David Higgie.

How Food Pantries operate

Food Pantries, like Food Banks, distribute food and supplies received voluntarily and from donations to families in need. The food supplies were coming in weekly if not more frequently with all kinds of fresh produce. Baby supplies, frozens, fresh produce, tinned goods, sanitary items. Fridges, freezers, spaces and shelves all full of produce. Enough to both cater for specific need and to provide boxes of prepared goods for families.

Food Pantries survived political change. They survived covid. They survived what I call ‘ChickenGate’ which was to change the poultry regulations meaning it was hard to even buy a live chicken to get eggs. But they are not surviving the current drying up of supply.

The Otaki Free Food Pantry which has been in existence since before Covid-19, is set to become the next closed outlet unless radical change happens immediately. Not tomorrow, next week or next month. The Kapiti coast area will be without yet one more outlet to feed the homeless and those suffering financial ruin. I visited with them this last weekend and saw empty shelves of all but wipes, sauces and crackers. Little else (unless you can stomach cat food?)

Like others, the Otaki Free Food Pantry also runs a Givealittle fundraiser which has had some success. But this is not enough to cover the thousands in produce shortfall needed to offer families in need and homeless people some balanced and nutritional support.

My very much respected, departed friend, Bill, often said, Do not starve the children. That alone was what counted when it came to looking after little ones and any discussion around young families. I don’t know about you, but the inability to look after our children, our mokupuna, homeless and elderly, is gut wrenching.

If you have positive ideas, please reply here or on our forum.