The two big pots of vegetable soup are being tended to in a small community cafe on Hampshire St, Aranui.
Outside Tracey Hunter is ‘hustling’ — a whirlwind of enthusiasm.
The Aranui Community Trust community connectedness coordinator stands on Hampshire St with her big smile and calls out to anyone who passes ‘free community lunch! Eleven o’clock. See ya then. It’s yummy!’
Striding back inside she cheerfully mutters ‘people must think I’m a nutter’.
They don’t. They love her and the community lunch which has the sole purpose of bringing the neighbourhood together once a month. And boy does it. It is like one big noisy gathering of whanau.
They sit next to neighbours they’ve never talked to before and are quick friends.
The police pop in for a feed and are greeted with hugs and handshakes. It wasn’t always that way. But things have changed in Aranui.
This is the second episode about a Christchurch community organisation who is on a mission to make sure no one in Aranui feels lonely or isolated. We followed them for a month as they showed us how they go about their mahi and talk to those who benefit.
The first episode is here.