Dine, then pay as you feel


Imagine enjoying a meal made by volunteers from rescued food and paying what you feel it’s worth at the end.

This week you can as part of a new community initiative in Sydenham.

Sydenham Quarter engagement co-ordinator Ailey Ong has organised the Pay as you Feel event to be held at Mori Mori Izakaya Restaurant on Monday from 6pm.

She has organised the event in collaboration with Sydenham Community Care, Mori Mori, Sydenham Quarter and other groups in the hopes of running more in the future.

It will involve saving food that would otherwise become pig food from Raeward Fresh Harewood and using it to cook meals for people.

Ms Ong, who had previously worked in kitchens, said the event was for everyone, whether they be homeless, or just wanted to meet new people.

She said you could pay as much as you want for your meal at the end, which would likely be vegetarian.

“It brings everybody back to humanity level. It’s not a class thing or what profession you’re in,” she said.

“I think this is a
beautiful thing. You can eat and there’s no strings attached. They can be relaxed and they can be totally themselves.”

Ms Ong would cook with the help of volunteers including city councillor Deon Swiggs.

“The special menu for the day is trust me.

“I’m going to be very creative. I’m already thinking I’m leaning at doing finger food.”

Ms Ong said she was inspired to do something like this after other organisations had done it overseas and in Auckland.

Mori Mori was happy to lend the use of its facilities because it did not open on Mondays, she said.

Sydenham Community Care chairman Rik Tindall said it was a nice initiative and a good way of bringing the community together.

“It’s a new idea, a proof of concept.”