Soup Kitchen plates up
By Yana O'Gorman 
Mary Tukuafu had a vision to see the community united and now it is a reality.
She has started up a soup kitchen and Mary says that the idea stemmed from her childhood.
"I come from a big family, we weren't poor, but it was hard to feed everyone everyday," she says.
The fortnightly kitchen provides hot meals to anyone in the community and has shown a willingness to help others. "It's our desire to not have people in need." 
On Monday 13 March, they ran their third soup kitchen, which operates with help from generous donations and volunteers. Mary says they're happy if more people want to come and help. "We won't say no."
Since they started the Soup Kitchen six weeks ago, they've seen it slowly build. 
"We're fast building rapport in the community," Mary says. "The ultimate goal is to create unity in the community." 
On Monday, they had around 66 people attend, with about 25 of them being volunteers. 
Since it began, it has attracted more volunteers. "There are a lot more members of the community wanting to jump on board. It's about creating a space where people can feel comfortable," Mary says. 
The Soup Kitchen is held fortnightly at 7pm on a Monday at Puna O te Ora, 60 Kayes Road, Pukekohe. 
Photos: Shaynon Pearson