Meals made with love for Te Aroha


Te Aroha locals threw on their aprons on Wednesday, to cook up homemade meals for their community. 

Volunteers from Te Aroha college, Fonterra and Ngāti Tumutumu Trust gathered at Tui Pā marae for a community cooking session. Their tasty creations, which included Mac & Cheese and Cottage Pie, were then frozen and will be distributed to the local community as needed. 

Community cooking session volunteers in front of Tui Pā

The event was organised by our local Hapori team to support Kura Kai, a registered charity who raise funds to purchase chest freezers, which are then donated to the High Schools they support. Kura Kai then works alongside the school to build a local community of volunteers to cook nutritious family meals to help keep those freezers well stocked.

Rangatahi from Te Aroha college are also regularly involved in helping prepare freezer friendly meals, and identifying where this food is needed most, either within their school whānau or the wider local community. 

“This event has been a long time coming! After delays due to COVID, it was awesome to finally bring our volunteers together with a bunch of other incredible folks who share the same heart for their local community. We made some beautiful meals to share with families, and new connections were made so we can continue to plan more of these events in the future"

Lorren Hawkins, Fonterra Relationship Manager

The Hapori team sponsored Te Aroha college to join the Kura Kai programme and have previously donated funding towards other cooking sessions. 

As cooking sessions are often led by the Ngāti Tumutumu Trust to keep the community freezer filled, the team also donated and a second meal storage freezer for Tui pā marae. 

Fonterra Relationship Manager Lorren Hawkins

Our team of Fonterra volunteers joining the community cooking session

Kura Kai Founder Maikaia Carr says she is grateful for the support from the team at Fonterra. 

“We’re so grateful for the vision that Fonterra has – showing they are keen and ready to bring our community groups together, providing resources, and allowing us all to work as one towards our shared goals. Helping and empowering our rangatahi. Ngā mihi Fonterra, such an awesome day of mahi” she said. 

“One of our charities pou (pillars) is connecting the community through kai, and this week was a perfect example of this. It can be as simple as having a kōrero/chat while preparing the meals and this is where connections and manaakitanga is felt” added Kura Kai GM Marie Peterson.

Kura Kai Founder Maikaia Carr and Kura Kai GM Marie Peterson