Guide To Soup Kitchens And Food Banks In NZ

Date Aug 19, 2021
By Tina M.

On this Level 4 lockdown, NZ soup kitchens and food banks are preparing more food to give to people in need. If you want to donate or volunteer, see the list below.

What is a Soup Kitchen? 

A soup kitchen, or community kitchens (as they're known) serve hot meals to Kiwis every day. The first and biggest soup kitchen in NZ is the Compassion Soup Kitchen, which was established in central Wellington to assist people who don't have a home or family. They've been around for 120 years and have now expanded to Auckland.

What time is the Soup Kitchen open during a lockdown?

The Compassion Soup Kitchen is open from 12 PM to 1 PM at 132 Tory St in Te Aro and serves one takeaway meal a day. Check the list of more soup kitchens below to see their operating hours.

As posted on the Wellington government website:

"At Alert Level 4, Compassion Soup Kitchen will serve one takeaway meal a day between 12 noon and 1pm, Monday to Saturday. This is effective from Wednesday 18 August to Sunday 22 August, and may be extended if the government decides to extend Level 4 lockdown." 


Who supplies food to soup kitchens in NZ?

Food rescue organisations such as Kaibosh and Kiwi Community Assistance, as well as individuals donate food, supplies, and money to Compassion Soup Kitchen. More people are also encouraged to share what they can so that more meals can be served to more Kiwis daily. 

Free first meal 

On a typical day, the Compassion Soup Kitchen is managed by volunteers in Wellington who serve 200 meals at most. Each meal is guaranteed to be nutritious and well-prepared by professional chefs, and are being evaluated by the Regional Public Health to provide optimum nutrition at a low cost. They serve complimentary breakfast as well as dinner for $2 per person.

No takeouts

Even on a regular day, customers are not permitted to take food out as they're encouraged to eat their meals together in the dining hall.

Are there other soup kitchens across NZ?

Other community kitchens inspired by Wellington's Soup Kitchen can be found in the following Auckland locations: Otara, Glen Innes, Henderson, Papakura, Mangere, Manurewa, and Mt Roskill.

Food banks that are open for the duration of the nationwide lockdown can also be found in Northland, North Auckland, Central Auckland, East Auckland, West Auckland, South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Coast / Hawkes Bay, Ruapehu / Central Plateau, Taranaki / Whanganui, Manawatu, Wellington, Tasman / Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago, Southland, and West Coast.

What do I need to get food from a food bank?

Prepare these important documents before going to a food bank near you. 

  1. Valid ID (e.g. passport or driving licence)
  2. Proof of address (e.g. utility bill, bank statement) to know that you’re qualified to receive food parcels.
  3. Denied food grant from Work and Income (if applicable)
  4. Breakdown of payment (can be found on your MyMSD account)

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