More than $120,000 worth of food is lining the shelves of
Dunedin's four main foodbanks, following a three-hour
collection throughout the city on Thursday night.
The food and donated presents will be sorted into Christmas
hampers and given to those struggling this festive season.
The annual Community Can Drive and Christmas Treats Appeal
netted about 800 banana boxes full of packaged food, from
residents throughout the wider Dunedin area including
Waitati, Port Chalmers and the Otago Peninsula.
Appeal co-ordinator Jane Orbell said each box contained at
least $150 worth of food.
Hundreds of volunteers travelled throughout Dunedin from 6pm
on Thursday. Emergency vehicles with sirens alerted residents
to collectors in their areas.
Mrs Orbell said the collection stopped about 9pm, so children
would not be kept awake by sirens.
Overall, the amount of food collected was about the same as
last year, but many more treats and presents were given, she
''It was amazing. We had a lot more special things like
chocolates and gifts. People obviously thought about how
Christmas is all about the special things.''
The items were sorted and evenly distributed to the foodbanks
yesterday morning, Mrs Orbell said.
''It's all on the shelves now, ready to parcel up next week
when the foodbanks do their Christmas hampers.''
Mrs Orbell thanked everybody involved in the appeal, from
those who volunteered their time and resources to those who
gave so generously.
''It's a real community thing, and Dunedin has again shown
it's a great city for people being generous. We had a lot of
people wanting to volunteer this year, including a
75-year-old woman who was just amazing.''
Those who missed the collection could still give food by
leaving it in baskets at the entrances of The Warehouse
stores in Dunedin until about four days before Christmas.