Octacan aiming for 18K cans

Reading to fill . . . Family Works social worker Carla Hewson and Presbyterian Support Otago communications and marketing manager Warren Rosser prepare for this month's Octacan. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

The shelves at Presbyterian Support Otago are empty and ready to be filled.

Octacan, the organisation’s can appeal, is back and collectors will be hitting the streets on June 21.

PSO communications and marketing manager Warren Rosser said PSO was aiming to get 18,000 cans this year, which was slightly fewer than usual, and $5000 in donations.

Mr Rosser said while the cans were still a “main staple” of the food bank, it also needed money to buy other items for parcels.

“Cans are really great and good for storage but our food parcels are made up of cans plus fresh fruit, bread, milk, produce and vegetables,” he said.

“It’s about providing food for a complete food parcel.”

Spaghetti, baked beans, tomatoes, fruit salad and soups were always in hot demand.

This appeal marks the 10th year PSO has run Octacan and and donations have increased each year, from 4000 items given in 2009 to more than 22,000 last year.

Family Works practice manager Debbie Gelling said the Family Works team distributed more than 10,000 items each month and the food bank was a critical community service.

“We continue to see issues such as affordable housing, redundancies, low wages and high heating costs impact and make it challenging for a growing number of individuals and families to get through the week,” she said.

Mr Rosser is interested in hearing from anyone who has donated to the nine previous Octacan appeals.