'Generous' donations help people in need

Dunedin showed its heart in the Octagon yesterday. The Presbyterian Support Otago annual Octacan food appeal received a record 12,670 donated food items this year, up from 7229 last year.

''This is the most we've got in the six years that I've been involved,'' marketing and communications co-ordinator Su Anderson said.

''It was freezing in the morning, but that hasn't stopped people from coming down. People are just so generous,'' she said.

''We go through about 9000 items a month in winter, so that will last at least a month and a-half.

''We get quite a few ordinary families using the foodbanks in winter. By the time people have paid their mortgage, power and petrol for the car, there isn't enough left to put food on the table.

''We get quite a few people who have used the foodbanks in the past donating items, which is really nice. Schools, preschools and businesses have also been very generous this year.''

The most popular items were staples such as baked beans, spaghetti, vegetables and fruit.

''We ask people for good, basic, hearty winter food, that can be used to stretch meals out. We also ask for pet food, because kids love their pets,'' Mrs Anderson said.

Accident Compensation Corporation staff donated 162 cans from a onesie day in the office.

''We wanted to help put the message out, so we decided to do the onsie thing at work,'' staff member Matthew Curtis said.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz


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