`”Outside the comfort zone”
Who am I doing : Food for Love ( Louise Carney)
“we can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”. Today I am going to be talking to you about Louise Carney and the Facebook page Food For Love that she created. The points I will be talking about are her motivation to start the page, how food for love helps the people of the community and the way it has impacted the community now.
Louise Carney is a woman who is a Wanaka local who has been through a tough time with her and her family with Louise herself being sick for the past 15 years, with a long-term sickness, this motivated Louise to start her community based Facebook page Food For Love. Louise also has volunteered for the Wanaka A and P show 2 years in a row and volunteered at the Hawea flat PTA when her son attended the school. When Louise’s health improved she instantly knew that she had to give back to the community the love and support she had received. Louise started Food for Love in April 2016 where she recognised the need to help in the community, people in our community wanted to help but didn’t know how and if they where to help it was the sticking point of was it too much or to little so she got together a group of 10 volunteers who also wanted to give back to the community, Louise herself said most of the volunteers are people who know what it’s like to go through a tough time and just generally want to be there for the people and give back what they received.
The way Food For Love helps the community is it caters for people in the community by cooking a simple meal. People of the Hawea and Wanaka community can anonymously email food for love and inform them on family members and friends or generally just people in the community who are currently going through a hard time due to sickness, divorce, bereavement, new mothers with babies and that’s just to name a few. Louise herself said “generally most people in Wanaka don’t have extended family so yes people in Wanaka do need the help and support of the community.” Turning up to someone’s house with a home cooked meal that you have prepared show’s individuals that they are not alone and the community does care for them. There are benefits on both side of this whether you are the one receiving the meal or the one preparing it as the volunteers explain how much of an enormous satisfaction it is to help others. We need to see that not only people worldwide need support and a little helping hand but we need to face reality that our small Wanaka community faces problems weekly such as feeling alone, needing help, going through a divorce, new mothers with babies, sickness we need to recognize and understand that this is a problem in Wanaka and someone like Louise is trying to change and give a little helping hand to people in need of support and love.
Food for love now in 2018 has impacted the Wanaka and Hawea community hugely with 10 to 15 meals being provided weekly which is about 10 families and individuals who need a little helping hand per week and well over 1000 meals in the past 2 years have been provided, Louise said herself “that the numbers of Wanaka families that need their assistance is growing hugely year to year” . Food for love started out with only 10 volunteers and have now grown to 120 volunteers that want to help out, they have around 70 cooks and 31 bakers, They have at least 10 business that support them including Amigos who cook bulk meals, Med market and Garden harvest who donate vegetables, Butchers block who donate some meat, Florences who support them, they also have schools who help out including our own school Mt Aspiring College and Wanaka childcare. These businesses help keep Food for love a float which is so important because they have made such an impact in our community and continue too. It’s important we recognize people like this in our community and how one little community based Facebook page can bring our community together and encourages everyone to get involved. Cooking a meal for a family can make an individual feel like they have contributed to the community or even feel like they have made a difference, one small contribution can make a huge difference.
There are people in our community who need your help and support. Today I have presented to you about Louise Carney and the community facebook page that she created Food for love in Wanaka because I believe she has made a real difference in our community for the better. I believe as individuals we can see the need to help people but we tend to look further a field as in world-wide. We can recognize less fortunate people, people in need of help but we look worldwide and we look towards big events that have occurred or are occurring and they are posted over social media and in newspapers. We forget that in our little community, here in Wanaka there are people who are less fortunate and need a little help and we don’t always see that side of things or we tend to just ignore it because there are people worldwide that need our help more. If we can’t even get behind our community and help out how do we suppose we can help world-wide. As individuals in Wanaka it is so simple and easy to help out you could, donate to community organisations such as community food bank, meals on wheels, you could volunteer your time to help out at the Wanaka A and P show or the Wanaka challenge or you could simply just bake or cook a meal for someone and donate it to food for love for them to deliver to someone who needs help or is having a hard time and you instantly feel involved and feel like your supporting the community. One small little meal delivered to someones door weekly can make such a huge difference and this is exactly what Louise did and continues to do.