Rachel Cooper with Urban Kai Farms harvest

Rachel Cooper with Urban Kai Farms harvest

In 2018, Nikau Foundation funded the Urban Kai Farm project, an initiative of the Common Unity Project Aotearoa (CUPA). Their mission is to create and encourage intensive urban agriculture across the Hutt Valley. The produce nourishes local school children with free meals, made in CUPA’s Unity Kitchen, with surplus produce and meals available for purchase at low cost. All proceeds go back into the project to create employment, grow more food and feed more children.

Local volunteers come together every Saturday morning to work on nearby ‘urban farms’, using organic practices to promote healthy soil and grow nutrient-dense fruit and vegetables.

In 2012, the Common Unity Project Aotearoa was founded in partnership with Epuni Primary School. The project works collaboratively with community, schools and organisations across Lower Hutt, as a collective response to meeting the needs of local children.

The philosophy behind Urban Kai Farms and Common Unity Project is simple – to ensure every child has a village.

“We believe that in order to achieve this, we need a collective response to meeting the needs of our children and developing our own resilient solution within our community.” – Julia Milne, CUPA Founder

Common Unity Project Aotearoa received a $10,000 grant in 2018 to support their Urban Kai Farms initiative.