Film-goers will help Palmerston North’s poor families put food on the table when they head to the cinema tomorrow night.
The annual Watties Can Film Festival at Downtown Cinemas sold out in the weekend with nearly 1100 tickets snapped up.
Rather than paying cash for their tickets movie-goers bring in a can of tinned food, which is passed on to the Salvation Army’s food bank.
Cinema chief executive Paul Wood said the response this year had been fantastic, with most people bringing in more than one can.
Mr Wood said people appreciated the opportunity to come to the movies for little cost while helping the community.
For the company, it was an opportunity to give something back to the community.
Salvation Army community ministries manager Kevin Richards said events such as the film festival were vital for keeping the food bank stocked.
‘‘These events make a huge difference to our food bank, it’s a great thing that people can help us on the one hand, and get to see a movie on the other.
"It’s going to help us to meet the high demand of needy families in our community.’’
The food bank provided on average 150 donations a month; this increased to 500 during December.
To help with the high demand at food banks during Christmas, the annual Palmerston North food drive is being held on November 24.
Mr Richards said people should keep an eye out for the arrival in their letterbox of plastic bags to be used on the day.