Levon’s green fingers help

PARTNERSHIP: Levon Wilson (fourth from left) is helping users of Pataka Kai to grow vegetables. Others pictured (from left) are Pataka Kai organisers Karla and TK and TePuia Reuben-Paul, with staff member Kylie Moore, Jasmine Currie, Aidan Christie (standing), Hayden Miller and staff member Lisa Payne, from Chris Ruth Centre.
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Passionate gardener Levon Wilson of Ashburton has partnered with Pataka Kai food pantry on the corner of South St and Chalmers Ave to provide vegetable plants grown from seeds.

Pataka Kai organiser TK Reuben-Paul is thrilled the 29-year-old has come on board to help locals in need.

Wilson attends the Chris Ruth Centre just along the road from the pantry. Previously he has been involved in community volunteering through Kai for Kids and He Waka Tapu.

His advocate Sapphire Stanley said now Wilson wasn’t doing this, he was happy he was still able to fulfil his desire for volunteer work through the new role.

‘‘His love of gardening drew him to want to do this for the community,’’ Stanley said.

‘‘Levon has found being able to reach out to his community and giving through doing this has been mana-enhancing.’’

The first of the plants arrived last week at the stand, all grown by Wilson from seeds. They included climbing beans, corn, Chinese cabbage and tomatoes.

The project has been supported by Mitre 10 Mega and Lushingtons, as well as Heritage Corp who has given heirloom seeds.

Wilson has been supported by others who attend the Chris Ruth Centre. They include Jasmine Currie, Aidan Christie and Hayden Miller, who have been helping make the packets the plants sit in.

The Chris Ruth Centre looks for volunteer opportunities which suit each of their members and their interests.

If people have small single pot or six-tray plant pots they no longer require, they can be left at the pantry.