Kids contribute cans for city foodbank
The food drive bags have been delivered. At the weekend, most city households received Broadway Radiology’s invitation to donate non-perishable food items for this Saturday’s city-wide collection.
Part of Palmerston North’s Christmas advent calendar for the past 25 years, the annual food drive to replenish the Salvation Army and Methodist Social Services foodbanks is looking for a bumper harvest.
‘‘I know there’s a need. People come in to us every week requiring help and advocacy,’’ Sallies’ corps officer Stewart Lee said.
He would like to make Saturday a celebration worthy of 25 years of community giving.
With 28,000 food collection bags distributed to letterboxes, Lee was hoping for a better result than last year when only 6000 of the marked bags were returned.
Organisers would also like to see a boost in the amount of donated breakfast cereals, even if they were already among the most contributed items
‘‘A couple of times during the year we almost ran out. We were helped by donations of cereal from church members and by the proceeds from Monrad Intermediate’s mufti day.’’
Female products are also on this year’s wish list.
Pasta, canned baked beans and spaghetti, and tinned fruit are the other top donated items.
Measured by the banana box load, last year’s donations were down significantly on the pre-
‘‘People come in to us every week requiring help and advocacy.’’ Stewart Lee, Salvation Army
vious two years, and Lee was hoping that this was not a trend reflecting donor fatigue.
‘‘We realise that people are giving to the Kaikoura earthquake appeal too - and the people there are on our hearts as well.’’
Last week’s earthquake could have an impact on local foodbanks, he said. It happened after the Christchurch quakes when some families moved to Manawatu to stay with family and friends, and to take up other accommodation offers.
The food drive total could be boosted by the five city schools and one kindergarten that signed on for the inaugural Watties Cans For Good campaign, a national food drive promising to match school contributions can for can.
Saturday’s food drive begins at 4pm. Phil Belk, from the Lions Club of Middle Districts, said there would be lots of sirens and noise to encourage residents to ‘‘bring out their bags’’.
Whakarongo School’s Alyssa Braddock, 12, Callum Whitley, 13, Sam Coles, 12, Ashleigh Gunn, 12, and Jessie Mc Gill, 12 and their Cans For Good collection.