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Heroes keep the foodbank running

Lyn Tankersley and Hayden McGrail at Masterton Foodbank. PHOTO/LISA URBANI

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While many people are relaxing at home during the lockdown period, choosing what to watch on Netflix, spare a thought for Lyn Tankersley and her partner Hayden McGrail who are busy packing food parcels at the Masterton Foodbank.

As a couple in their own bubble, they have been taking care of Masterton’s needy, while many of their volunteers, some of whom are over 70, have had to self-isolate.

Not happy to close their services at a time when so many are in difficult circumstances, Tankersley said they packed a record 47 parcels in one day this week.

She suspects the demand will only grow, calling it a “crazy, busy day”.

Some volunteers are coming in to help with after-hours work so they can maintain their bubble, and a day team will allow this hard-working couple to have a day off.

For now, the agencies involved in helping at-risk families are collecting the parcels, but under exceptional circumstances, people in need can collect them by arrangement.

Volunteers are not being asked for at this point, with the need for people to stay in their bubble, but the couple appealed to the public to buy extra basic items to put in the supermarket bins.

When asked how they were coping, Tankersley laughed and said, “we’re still married!”.

McGrail’s advice to people at home was to “make the most of it and be creative with your time”, while Tankersley urged everyone to “check on your neighbours”.

Donations to Masterton Foodbank can be made via its Westpac Account: 03 0687 0313360 00.

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