Pasta Cafe 20 years on

A landmark year: Volunteers from previous years dish out the goods at Pasta Cafe

Twenty years of feeding Queenstowners will be marked at the Wakatipu Presbyterian Church tomorrow night.

The church is reopening its Pasta Cafe, through which any members of the Whakatipu community can receive a free hot meal and baked treats, enjoy music and get the chance to connect with others.

‘‘From the very beginning … it was to be open to anyone,’’ church lead pastor Ian Guy says.

‘‘You could be sleeping rough somewhere or you could drive up a in new Mercedes … both would be invited to come and sit together and have the meal together.’’

Pasta Cafe first started two decades ago out of concern for seasonal skifield workers, who’d
often arrive in Queenstown before the snow did.

‘‘They were lonely and they were often hungry,’’ Guy says.

‘‘[Pasta Cafe] was a way of just giving some hospitality … some home-cooked [meals] and baking, and making people feel welcome.’’

Food is donated by the church, several local businesses and organisations, Kiwi Harvest, and members of the community.

While Guy came into his role as lead pastor after Pasta Cafe started, he’s proudly carried it on and collected several impactful memories along the way.

‘‘We always display the flags of various peoples,’’ Guy says.

‘‘A few years ago there was a group of Barcelonians here … so I organised the Catalan flag.

‘‘When they arrived [at Pasta Cafe], the same day there had been a mass bombing in Barcelona … they were distraught, and they came and they sat beneath their flag and started crying, they just said ‘thank you’.’’

Pasta Cafe, which will run for the next four Fridays from tomorrow, will remain largely the same for it’s 20th year.

To mark the milestone, Guy’s hoping they can just run them all, unlike last year where it was interrupted after the second week by Covid.

Pasta Cafe’s held at St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church in Frankton, is free to attend and
starts at 6pm.

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