Locals dig deep for neighbours

By Amie Hickland

Wairarapa residents have given generously to the annual Food Bank Appeal this week to guarantee the shelves will be full for those in need this Christmas.

Volunteers drove around streets on Wednesday collecting items such as baked beans, spaghetti, fruit, vegetables and soup.

Masterton Food Bank co-ordinator Maureen Potts said there were more donations than last year thanks to the generosity of the community.

"We are really, really appreciative of what's come in and it means we carry on," she said.

"We're not funded by anybody so it is important that the community supports it."

Mrs Potts estimated 100 volunteers were involved in the appeal, including the drivers, collectors and packers.

"It was really heartening to see so many young ones and they were so energetic and enthusiastic and they just had the place buzzing," she said.

The food bank had a busy year and Mrs Potts expected demand to continue until at least February.

"It's really nice to know we've got a few months of stores up our sleeves now," Mrs Potts said.

Successful Food Bank street appeals were held in Masterton, Carterton, Greytown and Featherston.

Masterton South Rotary Club help co-ordinate the Masterton appeal.

Convenor Russell Carthew said they helped start the appeal more than 10 years ago.

"It's really needed and it's something Rotarians really enjoy," Mr Carthew said.

Volunteer Annabelle Colvin, 16, said this was the second year she had been involved. "I had a lot of fun last year," she said.

The Times-Age has donated a trolley of groceries. General manager Andrew Denholm said the staff have rallied together which had been "wonderful".

Foodbank fundraising co-ordinator Steve Sale said they give out at least seven food parcels on an average day.

"It's great to see the community reaching out and helping those that need it," he said.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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