Food Hub brings good, affordable kai to community

A community café has opened in Old Papatoetoe, making it easier for locals to get nourishing kai.

The Papatoetoe Food Hub is a community-driven project, supported by Panuku, that aims to nurture and develop new approaches to food. Panuku has provided the space in which it operates. We also secured the old White Lady food truck, which was nearing retirement, to provide more kitchen space on site.

In addition to the café which runs weekdays from 9am to 3pm, the Papatoetoe Food Hub runs a wide range of activities involving garden to table programmes, language week events and cooking classes for both adults and kids.

Papatoetoe Food Hub curator Waikare Komene says it’s all about community and food.

“We’re upskilling people and at the same time creating delicious and affordable kai and juices,” he says. “The Papatoetoe Food Hub is showing what’s possible when community and local government work together to tackle one of our community’s toughest issues. But we’re not a food bank or a charity, it’s a collective of community-led enterprises aimed to be self-sustaining and employing local people.”

The Papatoetoe Food Hub collective is made up Roots Creative Entrepreneurs, Kai Tupuna, Taiohi Whai Oranga and Auckland Teaching Gardens, supported by The Southern Initiative, Healthy Families South Auckland, Otara Papatoetoe Local Board and Panuku Development Auckland.

Healthy Families South Auckland manager George Makapatama says the Papatoetoe Food Hub is about reimagining how food can be served and shared in a way that enables healthy lifestyles and community connections.

“This multi-use prototyping space run by community-led enterprises makes good food accessible, desirable and affordable to the local community; while also creating a hub where people can connect, learn and share new concepts related to food.”

Waikare says the best way to understand what’s going on is just come and visit.

Find the Food Hub in the heart of Old Papatoetoe next to the Allan Brewster Leisure Centre and the New World supermarket carpark (31-33 Wallace Road, Papatoetoe) or visit its Facebook page to find out more.