Call for cans to meet demand

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Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) hopes to collect sufficient cans at this year’s Octacan which, if laid end to end, would stretch the length of George St – more than 2km.

A colder summer has placed an early demand on PSO’s foodbank services, which has meant a slight increase over last year’s collection is needed for tomorrow’s collection.

PSO fundraising co-ordinator Jasmin Graham said the 18,500 cans the organisation hoped to collect would last until the combined foodbanks can appeal at Christmas.

The cans would be put into food parcels of about 30 items for families in need.

Miss Graham said the colder summer and autumn months had put financial stress on some families, as increased heating bills meant there was less money for groceries.

It resulted in a rare shortage of baked beans and spaghetti, which are two of the most wanted cans for this year’s collection.

The others are soups, tomatoes and pasta sauces.

“These are the things we think are really easy for people to make a meal out of.

“All food parcels would have a few of these.”

Miss Graham said schools and businesses were great supporters of the collections, as was the team of volunteers. Some organisations donated hundreds of cans.

“It’s become a really community event.”

Storage King has provided a van, trailer and 100 boxes to easily store and move the cans.

“For them to come on board this year and show they are really passionate about what we are doing is really great.”

More than 75,000 cans have been collected in the past eight years since Octacan began.

FIVE MOST-WANTED CANS

Tomatoes

Spaghetti

Soup

Baked beans

Pasta sauces

OCTACAN

The can drive will be held tomorrow (June 22) from 7.30am-2.30pm in the Lower Octagon.

Presbyterian Support Otago will also be conducting a street appeal in the centre city during the day.