Kids con­trib­ute cans for city food­bank

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RICHARD MAYS

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.

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