A timely boost for food bank

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - FRONT PAGE - ERIN TASKER

‘‘More peo­ple are strug­gling; more wage earn­ers, and sin­gle in­come earn­ers.’’

Ash­bur­ton’s com­mu­nity food bank shelves took a ham­mer­ing over win­ter, and now they’re vir­tu­ally empty.

So the tim­ing couldn’t be bet­ter for a group of Ash­bur­ton busi­nesses to come to­gether and run a month-long food drive. The Oc­to­ber food drive was the brain­child of Real Es­tate New Zealand Ash­bur­ton’s Trevor Hur­ley, but Port FM Ash­bur­ton, Count­down and Burger King loved the idea and joined in too, of­fer­ing ad­di­tional man­power, and in­cen­tives for peo­ple to give.

In an at­tempt to get younger peo­ple to give, Burger King is of­fer­ing vouch­ers for free frozen drinks or a cheese­burger to those who do­nate. It’s hoped that in­cen­tive might help to en­cour­age younger peo­ple to do­nate, or prompt them to tell their par­ents about it and get them do­nat­ing, Hur­ley said.

For Sal­va­tion Army Com­mu­nity Food Bank man­ager Ju­dith Lil­ley, the tim­ing couldn’t be bet­ter. Win­ter’s been tough for many fam­i­lies, and the food bank shelves show that. They’re out of many things - pasta, rice, sugar, tea bags, cof­fee. Lil­ley said the high de­mand for the food bank could be down to many things; it could have been the longer than usual stand down at lo­cal meat works, or just the gen­eral economic cli­mate at the mo­ment.

‘‘More peo­ple are strug­gling; more wage earn­ers, and sin­gle in­come earn­ers,’’ Lil­ley said.

Ev­ery Novem­ber, Ash­bur­ton County Lions runs its Toot for Tucker food drive and that en­sures the food bank’s shelves are re­plen­ished in the lead up to Christ­mas, and this new food drive will fill the gaps un­til then, Lil­ley said. It means she won’t have to dip into her own lim­ited food bank bud­get to buy goods as much.

Cash do­na­tions are also wel­comed by the com­mu­nity food bank.

‘‘All th­ese com­mu­nity ser­vices are pretty much get­ting more and more de­mand, and Ju­dith’s been in the pa­pers lately say­ing the food bank store is get­ting down so we all came up with this idea,’’ Hur­ley said.

The team be­hind the food drive is Trevor Hur­ley (Real Es­tate New Zealand Ash­bur­ton, Jane Kin­gan and LeVonne Watts (Port FM), Peter Break­well (Count­down) and Vi­nay Sharma (Burger King). There are three drop off points Count­down Ash­bur­ton, Burger King Ash­bur­ton, and Port FM Lo­cal Ash­bur­ton.

Pre­par­ing for the food drive are (from left) Trevor Hur­ley, Jane Kin­gan, Ju­dith Lil­ley, Peter Break­well and LeVonne Watts. Ju­dith Lil­ley, Sal­va­tion Army

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