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Food needed more than ever

Food needed more than ever
The grateful recipients of the annual Toot for Tucker food drive (from left) Salvation Army lieutenant Elizabeth Walker-Ratu, St Vincent de Paul chairman Michael Hanham and Presbyterian Support’s Sue Hutchinson. Photo Daniel Alvey

An annual Ashburton community food drive will be more important than ever as families grapple with a cost-of-living crisis.
That’s the feeling of Toot for Tucker organisers and volunteers ahead of the November 21 event.
One of those volunteers is Ashburton County Lions’ secretary Jan Stonyer, who has been involved with Toot for Tucker food drive in one form or another for over a decade.
“Every can of baked beans, or box of Weetbix helps, even if you think it may not be much. Every little bit helps,” Stonyer said.
Volunteers from a range of organisations, headed up by the Ashburton County Lions, will hit the streets from 5pm next Monday. You will hear the collectors toot their vehicle horns when they’re in your street, with food bags to be delivered around Ashburton soon to anyone who would like to donate.
The public’s donations are vital because they would help restock local foodbanks with in-date, non-perishable goods. Those donations would then be shared between Presbyterian Support, St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army.
And Stonyer, who has seen the event grow, knows that next week’s food run has even more significance.
That’s because of the financial challenges many are facing simply to provide food for their families.
Another to understand that scenario and its community effect is Salvation Army lieutenant Elizabeth Walker-Ratu. She experienced her first Toot for Tucker event last year and was amazed with the amount of food donated to organisations like hers to then disperse and make available to those in need.
“It really helps us stock up,“ Walker-Ratu said.
“It provides us a good amount of food to fill the shelves during the Christmas period.’’


What: Annual food drive organised by the Lions Club
When: Monday, November 21. Collections starting after 5pm
Where: Collectors will be driving around the streets of Ashburton getting the donated the food. You will hear them toot when they are nearby
How can you help:
Option one: Fill a bag with as much non-perishable, in-date food items for collection as you can.
Option two: Donate your time to the drive. If you can spare a few hours as driver, or runner on the evening, contact Jan Stonyer via [email protected].

  • Daniel Alvey