Much more than breakfast is being served up by a group of volunteers in Katikati every Thursday morning.
Simply put, the free weekly meal acts as “a really great meeting point for people in the community,” says event organiser, Katikati Covid Response team coordinator Angela Wallace.
“You don’t have to be in need, you don’t have to be feeling lonely, you don’t have to be unable to afford food.”
Angela says everyone is welcome to dig in for a feed. The breakfasts run from 7.30am- 8.30am Thursdays at Katikati Baptist Church, offering a great way to connect and fill the belly at the same time.
Seeing there was a need for it, the Katikati Covid Response Team set up the weekly event last October.
“We just noticed during lockdown there was quite a few mental health problems and quite a few people who were isolated and feeling lonely,” says Angela.
“People’s expenses had gone up so much and their living cost was so high that they couldn’t afford to buy food.”
Since then, the breakfasts have become much more than this. “[The breakfasts] provide a place where people can meet with others in their community, sit down and have a kai together and even talk about what’s going on for them or build some relationships with local people so they have a support network around them,” says Angela.
An awesome team of volunteers come from a range of Katikati organisations to put the brekkie on.
“Our team turns up at quarter to seven and set up the dining room, get the jugs on, get the coffee brewing and get scrambled eggs on the go,” says Angela.
“The local Lions Club man the barbecue so they jump on there and do the bacon and sausies.”
There’s also baked beans, spaghetti, toast, cereal and seasonal fruit on offer.
Any leftovers get made into special ‘breakfast burritos’ which are dropped off at local schools for kids that don’t have lunches, says Angela.
Donations are welcome but otherwise the breakfasts are free and shower facilities are available on-site for use by breakfast guests.
“The outcomes we’re hoping for [from the breakfasts] is increased relationships between people in the community and connectivity,” says Angela.
“We want to see it keep going as long as the community finds it useful and enjoyable.”
The Community Breakfast is at Katikati Community Baptist Church, 2 Wedgewood St, on Thursdays from 7.30am-8.30am.