Cooking kai

Across the motu, Salvation Army foodbanks are expanding their food response to offer new food-based wrap-arounds alongside traditional food parcels. These new food supports are strengths-based and help build knowledge, skills, access and connection, empowering whānau to move from dependence to a place of greater resilience, sovereignty and security. 

We’ve defined seven areas of food security support that Salvation Army Community Ministries can offer. These are

  • Choosing kai
  • Cooking kai
  • Growing kai
  • Sharing kai
  • Buying kai
  • Connecting with kai
  • Partnering around kai

Because food insecurity is different in every community, our foodbanks are empowered to adopt the food security initiatives that best meet the unique needs of their community and match their own resources. This flexible approach helps target our resources to best effect and provides a great opportunity for partnering with other community organisations. From Kaitaia to Invercargill you’ll see different expressions of food security at Salvation Army foodbanks. In this video you can see how our Whangarei team is helping strengthen food security for whānau and their community..

You can help our Community Ministries  implement or expand food security programmes in their Community by making a donation through their landing page.


  • Offering cooking classes at Salvation Army Community Ministries  or with community partners
  • Preparing meals using volunteers or clients to supplement traditional foodbank items
  • Link to Royal Oak Cooking Class video 

In Salvation Army kitchens around the country, clients and volunteers are coming together to plan, prepare and share meals. Cooking classes are run in many Community Ministries and provide an opportunity for whānau to develop their nutrition, shopping and cooking knowledge and skills over a term. Programme content and recipes are adapted to meet the needs of the group in terms of culture, diet, budget and the age of children. As well as making meals to take home, participants also share a meal together at the end of each class providing an important opportunity for social connection and relationship building. To help support longer term cooking at home, participants may also receive a cooking appliance and utensils.  In some locations, Salvation Army Community Ministries partner with other Community Groups, to support their cooking programmes with food or equipment donations which help cover programme costs.

Cooking initiatives also provide a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to contribute to food security by coming together to help prepare meals using our donated and rescued food. In Gisborne our team has been supported by amazing volunters who have helped prepare more than 5,000 meals which have been distributed to the Community in the three months after Cyclone Gabrielle. Being able to access nourishing prepared meals is becoming increasingly important for clients who are not able to cook for themselves because of skills or their living situation. Prepared meals also help make our food donations go further.