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Foodbank drive biggest success yet

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

This year’s foodbank drive has been the most successful one yet, which is a sign of a very generous community.

Wednesday night marked the annual foodbank drive, collecting non-perishable food for people in need.

The donated food was dropped off at the Masterton Fire Station where more than 100 people sorted and packed the food into boxes and onto trailers ready to be unloaded onto the foodbank shelves.

From left, Pam Horncy, behind, Glenn McIsaac, front, Lyn Tankersley and Ruth Galloway, all volunteers at the Masterton Foodbank. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON
From left, Pam Horncy, behind, Glenn McIsaac, front, Lyn Tankersley and Ruth Galloway, all volunteers at the Masterton Foodbank. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON

Lyn Tankersley, Masterton Foodbank coordinator, said the project always ran like clock-work.

Volunteers started collecting around the streets at 5pm, and by 8pm everything had been boxed and was at the foodbank.

“Thanks to everyone who helped and to the community who gave so generously,” Mrs Tankersley said.

“Also, must say thanks to the whole of the Wairarapa as collection happened in each of our five townships.”

The Masterton Foodbank collected 260 boxes of food ranging from tins, flour, sugar and chips.

That’s 20 boxes more than last year, making it the most successful collection to date, she said.

Mrs Tankersley said they can never have enough food in stock, especially milk, and would love for people to stick to their weekly habits of buying an extra item each week and placing it in the donation boxes at the supermarket.

Russell Carthew, a Foodbank drive coordinator, said just by seeing the numbers of boxes coming in on the night he could tell it was a success.

He said the weather could affect the collection drive, so they were lucky for the mild weather on Wednesday night, he said.

Mr Carthew said the initiative began 16 years ago when the Masterton South Rotary club saw it was being done in other towns and cities, where they aimed to collect enough stock for six months, but it doesn’t usually last.

The foodbank appeal began as a partnership between Masterton South Rotary and the Masterton Fire Service.

It is now a region-wide initiative, supported by Rotary groups and emergency services.

“Food for the holiday period is important, with young families and others struggling to make ends meet,” Mr Carthew said.

Most radio stations helped with the appeal, and Masterton South Rotarians provided vehicles.

Volunteers included 40 Wairarapa College students, and about eight Air Training cadets, as well as families and local groups.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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