The food Kaibosh rescues has a ripple effect in our community. It’s given out through more than 50 organisations around the Wellington region, where it ends up reaching thousands of people.
From there the impact ripples out further, as the simple act of filling bellies with a healthy meal empowers these groups to do some incredibly important work. That’s the case for Vibe, the Hutt Valley Youth Health Service, who, for the last 18 months, have been using Kaibosh food to open up important conversations with young people.
Vibe run a ‘youth one stop shop’ in Lower Hutt, where they provide free, confidential health and support services to Hutt Valley young people aged 10 to 24. They offer them a confidential way to see a doctor, to talk about sexual health or mental health, and to have one-on-one social support.
The thing is, these generally aren’t conversations young people are likely to start themselves, and that can be even less likely among those who are already having a hard time at home or school.
So, for three years now, Vibe has also been running regular Drop In sessions at local high schools and training centres where they offer a free, healthy lunch. This gives them the chance to meet young people on their own terms and make sure they know that Vibe are there to help – and how to find them if they choose to.
Since Kaibosh opened our second branch in the Hutt in 2015, Vibe has collected food from us. By using this food, Vibe has more than tripled the number of school drop-ins they run each week.
Vibe’s Sinead Ward says: “Every week the Kaibosh team support us to feed over 120 young people throughout the Hutt Valley at Lunchtime Drop Ins – thanks to them, we’ve been able to increase these Drop Ins from 3 to 10 per week.”
Sinead says, “Drop Ins are a friendly and welcoming space for young people to share a healthy lunch and connect with their peers and Vibe staff. They can access Vibe’s staff support informally, and be referred on for further support if needed. Young people often use this time to discuss what’s on top for them at home or in school.
Over a shared healthy meal, we can help them to explore options for overcoming any issues or challenges. During this time young people are becoming more connected, building quality relationships, and spending time in positive social settings.”
As well as being the young-person-magnet to start important conversations, the food that we provide also gives Vibe a way to make sure these young people are going back to class with their tummies full. A healthy lunch plays a huge part in making sure we get the most out of our days, and that’s especially important for young people with an afternoon of learning ahead.
Vibe is also using food from Kaibosh to provide for families through Vibe’s parenting programme, by making sure young parents and their babies receive a nourishing, home-cooked meal each week.
“When you know where your next meal’s coming from, you’re free to focus on all sorts of other things – your family and friends, your work, your study, your hobbies,” says Kaibosh’s Anoushka Isaac. “There’s a huge amount of stress that you avoid when you’re not worried about getting enough to eat.”
Vibe is just one of over 50 different community groups that we support across the Wellington Region, and at our last estimate, food from Kaibosh is reaching more than 4,000 people in need each week.
Kaibosh can only do this with the help of our community, so to everyone who supports us in our work, thank you.
You never know – that sandwich made from bread that a local supermarket donated to Kaibosh, filled with fresh vegetables rescued from Sunday’s vege market, might just have been made possible by you. It could even be the exact sandwich that means a young person makes an invaluable connection with support services at Vibe.