Masterton's generous and giving spirit has earned praise from Masterton Foodbank's coordinator and supporters Masterton South Rotary Club, after the Wairarapa Times-Age highlighted a dire need for more food last week.

Lyn Tankersley said, following the article, she has been "amazed" at the response from the public, with supermarket bins overflowing.

The foodbank had given out a record 242 food parcels in April, a 43 per cent increase on February.

So far this month it has given out 200 parcels.


In last week's story, Mrs Tankersley had stressed that an extra can of food for the foodbank box during a shopping trip would help enormously.

"It's been fantastic, the supermarket bins are overflowing.

"We are so grateful to the community for the response."

Normally she would visit supermarkets once a week to collect a small amount; this week she has been to New World supermarket twice to empty the bin.

"This is exactly what we wanted, for people to get into a bit of a habit, even just one extra thing to put in the bin.

"We're not asking for heaps and heaps of things. It's just about getting into the habit.

"We want this culture to keep going."

She said the April demand "blew us away" in depleting reserves that would normally see them through the winter.

She wanted to thank Higgins Contractors, who did "a huge shop" for the foodbank, and long-time supporter Breadcraft.

"Breadcraft have given us bread for 25 years," she said.

"They have upped their order in the last couple of weeks.

"They are an incredible sponsor."

She said Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson had been in contact for a meeting on the issue.

"There are people in this community that really struggle," said Mrs Tankersley.

The foodbank has also taken to advertising on the radio in a call for more supplies, a move sponsored by the Masterton South Rotary Club.

The club, in partnership with Masterton Fire Service, has been holding an annual Food Drive in November since 2000, which has grown to include Wairarapa's fire services, police and Wellington Free Ambulance.

Club member Russell Carthew, who organised the radio advertising, thanked the Times-Age for highlighting the issue.

"What the paper has done is fantastic, it really helped.

"It's not that people haven't been giving, but we needed to bring this to their attention.

"I was in New World the other day, and they told me the response has been amazing."

He said the foodbank had "a big run on food" so far this year.

"Normally what we collect usually lasts for most of the year," Carthew said, adding that last year's run had been a record collection.

"It's the one time where we find that the radio stations and newspapers combine to do their best."