Community Unity Project Aotearoa is building a local food ecosystem to address the lack of accessible, affordable, healthy food in Lower Hutt.
The project is developing a self-fertilising ecosystem by transforming borrowed lawns into organic, intensively productive micro-farms across the Hutt Valley. It is growing food while creating employment, feeding hungry school children and increasing accessibility of healthy food via a co-operative grocery, The Common Grocer.
The project provides training and support to community members wishing to become farmers. In return, these members contribute a portion of their harvest to the land owner, and some to the Koha kitchen (an initiative that feeds 2500 school children every day). They sell the rest to cafés, restaurants, markets and The Common Grocer.
Since 2012, almost 7,000kg of produce has been produced for the Koha kitchen, making 21,000 lunches for school children. Through collaborations with Kaibosh and Commonsense Organics, 7,530kg of food has been rescued.
Common Unity Project Aotearoa is a finalist in the Transforming Food category of the 2017 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.