Food drive more important than ever

Christmas food and can drive co-ordinator and senior firefighter Aimee Taylor and (from left,...
Christmas food and can drive co-ordinator and senior firefighter Aimee Taylor and (from left, back) Hamish Meyers, Chris Fosters, (front) Matt Loughney and Jules Bennett hold some of the items suitable for the annual appeal. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON
After a tough year, Dunedin’s annual food drive is more important than ever, its co-ordinator says.

Emergency service vehicles will sound their sirens around the city’s streets on Thursday, December 10, to collect non-perishable food for foodbanks.

Items will be given to the foodbanks at Presbyterian Support Otago, St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army.

The Mosgiel, Green Island and Abbotsford collection will be held on Monday, December 7.

Event co-ordinator Aimee Taylor said the appeal was always important for the foodbanks before Christmas, but was especially vital this year.

"I appreciate that this year it is going to be extremely stressful for some people, so the foodbanks will really need it," she said.

St Vincent de Paul centre and pastoral co-ordinator Sarah Strang said the agencies looked forward to receiving donated food from the Christmas food and can drive.

"Our foodbank would struggle to survive without those cans and foodstuffs," Ms Strang said.

Next Thursday, emergency service vehicles will sound their sirens and be followed by a collection car and runners.

While the focus was on collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items, people often gave toys, sanitary items and treats.

The main things that could not be collected were money and fresh produce, Ms Taylor said.

About 180 volunteer runners and packers will be helping on the night. Some had been involved since the event started 24 years ago, she said.

"There’s just so many people that are so willing to help.

"It’s awesome."

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