Koha Kai is a charitable trust based in Southland that provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities. It partners with primary schools that offer the use of their kitchens for Koha Kai trainees to cook in, in exchange for a healthy lunch option sold to students at an affordable price.
The programme began in a shed, and then within four months evolved into the ‘Lunches in Schools’ programme, working with low decile schools in Invercargill and regional Southland. This offers a way for people living with disability to engage with their community, learn new skills, receive inspirational mentoring and a have vocational pathway.
Koha Kai works with community mental health organisations, District Health Boards and other medical and disability service providers. It has expanded its operations to grow its own produce and sell meals to the wider community. It recycles, reuses and composts almost all the waste created by the programme.