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Meet Kelly Francis - Westfield Local Heroes 2021

Ending food insecurity

Whenua Warrior
Dedicated. Passionate. Inspirational

Inspirational Kelly Francis has built hundreds of edible gardens in homes and community spaces to help stamp out food poverty since founding Whenua Warrior four years ago.

In 2017 Kelly realised the key to solving food insecurity was to change the way food is grown.

She has built 480 organic gardens in the back of homes, in schools and other community spaces since founding the charitable trust.

She teaches people of all ages how to grow an abundance of fruit and vegetables and encourages them to share the surplus with others in the community or exchange it for other essentials.

Her greatest hope is the project will bring an end to food insecurity and help communities flourish.

Kelly is proud to help people follow techniques used by their ancestors to protect the environment (kaitiakitanga) while growing food crops.

She is honoured to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “It is humbling to know I have been nominated among all the other heroes in the community and to be able to spread the word about our work even further. Seeing children learn, adults teach, and our kaumatua (elders) having a space to be heard are all huge motivations for me,” she says.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Whenua Warrior will use its funds to buy soil and seedlings to build 20 more gardens.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here

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