Drive for donations gearing up

SHARE

by Alexia Johnson

Timaru’s Toot for Tucker will be back in business in the coming weeks.

The annual food appeal will return to Timaru streets on November 16, giving people a chance to donate non-perishable items from their driveways.

Items ranging from tinned food, rice, flour, potatoes and pumpkins to bathroom products are welcome on the night, and can be handed over to volunteers or left next to their letter boxes for collection.

Organisers requested items not be placed inside letter boxes, only beside them.

Donations would be distributed to Family Works Presbyterian Support, St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army foodbanks as Christmas approached.

Mary Williamson and Lynnette Doggett are conveners of this year’s collection, which is being run by Timaru Suburban Lions Club in conjunction with the foodbanks, the Timaru Host Lions Club and rotary clubs.

Mrs Williamson was unsure just how much people would be able to give this year due to Covid-19, but hoped it would still be a busy night for the many volunteers and drivers, who had 44 maps to follow.

The group also welcomed donations of banana boxes and volunteers to help on the night.

Anyone wanting to assist as a runner or driver could just turn up on the night, she said.

Collecting would start at 6pm.

The starting point was the Salvation Army Church on the corner of Otipua and Wai-iti Rds and the routes covered each street in the town centre, but excluded King and Evans Sts.

“It’s too busy and too dangerous.”

Washdyke was also not included.

Timaru Suburban Lions Club president Alec Darling said the club had been running the collection for the past 12 years.

“With people losing jobs in difficult times this year, coming up to Christmas was a hard time of year for expenses,” Mr Darling said.

He encouraged the community to get behind the Toot for Tucker.

“It’s the Lions’ way of serving the community and people of the community to show a bit of compassion for a real need out there.”

Family Works manager Liz Nolan said the group was “extremely grateful” to be a recipient of the annual event.

“This year even more so, as the demand on our foodbank at Family Works has almost doubled over the past 12 months.

“Some of this can be directly related to the ongoing impact of Covid on families across all of our community.”

If everyone gave a little, it would help so many, she said.

Toot for Tucker was always well supported in the community, many people and groups volunteering to be runners and drivers on the night, she said.

“It is a real privilege to be involved and to be able to pass that generosity on to others.”