Can collection coming soon

Making room . . . Presbyterian Support Otago supporter development manager Jude McCracken hopes 20,000 cans will be collected at this year's Octacan. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Presbyterian Support Otago’s Octacan collection, now in its 11th year, is a key event to help keep its food bank well-stocked.

This year’s collection will be held on tomorrow in the Octagon from 7.30am until 2.30pm.

Supporter development manager Jude McCracken said the organisation was seeking “staple” items which could be added to a meal.

The five most wanted cans were tomatoes, spaghetti, soup, baked beans and pasta sauces.

Pasta, rice, dry products and toiletries were also welcome, she said.

“It can be anything that will benefit a family.”

The items would be used to create food parcels for families in need.

Despite the success of last year’s collection and the combined food banks appeal in December, the PSO food bank was running low.

Mrs McCracken said families who needed a parcel had often received an unexpected bill, which put them under financial stress.

“It’s sometimes a circumstance that’s presented itself to the family which really then stretches the finances, and food is the thing that gets diminished if they need to fund a bill.

“One event and it can just change their whole world.”

PSO communications and marketing manager Warren Rosser said 60-80 food parcels were distributed each week, and included emergency breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days.

Mrs McCracken said they hoped to collect 20,000 cans, and would also have volunteers in the central city collecting money.

The money would be used to buy products such as meat, perishable items and diet-specific products.

She hoped the items collected would last until Christmas.

“And it generally does. Fingers crossed it will again this year.”