Yes it can — school surpasses collection target

Taieri College pupil Jacob Stephens, 17, sits in a kiwi made of canned donations going to the Kai...
Taieri College pupil Jacob Stephens, 17, sits in a kiwi made of canned donations going to the Kai for Octacan annual food drive tomorrow. Photo: Gregor Richardson
As foodbank cupboards start to look sparse, one Mosgiel school is rising to the challenge of restocking the shelves.

Taieri College student council support teacher Jerry Fuss said the school’s goal of raising 2000 cans for this year’s "Kai for Octacan" annual foodbank appeal was blown out of the water when it reached a staggering 2800 cans.

"Our record previously was about 1870 which we hit a couple of years ago — we’ve gotten significantly higher than we ever had.

"We have been contributing for several years now and we quite often get a large number of cans.

"The number is a good surprise, but it makes it hard to beat next year."

Pupils brought in the cans yesterday and about 12 senior pupils arranged them into the shape of a kiwi like that on a $1 coin.

The design was chosen by the school’s student council, Mr Fuss said.

The pupils raised the cans ahead of tomorrow’s Octacan appeal, in the Octagon, where can donations will be accepted between 7.30am and 2pm.

The event is run by Presbyterian Support Otago.

Once all the cans were in, they would be arranged into the shape of the Matariki star cluster, five of which represent areas of the environment where food was harvested, the event website said.

The midwinter collection was in place to help keep the foodbank’s shelves stocked until hopefully December.

However, demand was rising.

Items needed include canned foods such as baked beans, spaghetti, soup, tomatoes and other vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish.

Products such as toothpaste, soap, toilet rolls and washing powder were often needed.

Other dry goods such as breakfast cereal, jams and snack bars could also be given.

Most of Taieri College’s cans would be going into the Octagon for the Octacan event, but about 500 would be set aside for the local Mosgiel foodbank, Mr Fuss said.