Bank pitches in to help needy at Christmas

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 11/12/2012

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Some of Palmerston North's neediest families will now be able to celebrate Christmas with all the trimmings others take for granted.

Staff from ANZ Bank have filled four shopping trolleys with Christmas goodies for the Salvation Army's annual holiday hampers.

Food bank manager Jan Okey said the bank was approached for help when the Salvation Army realised it was short of many of the goods needed for the hampers.

This was in part because of the reduced number of donations received in Palmerston North's annual food drive.

The hampers would be a mix of traditional Christmas treats and snack foods allowing families to celebrate Christmas Day at home, Mrs Okey said.

The 250 hampers would be given to families who had been referred to the Salvation Army from agencies trying to improve their situations, she said.

The trolleys were placed in ANZ's city branches with staff asked to contribute goods. They would be picked up today.

Meanwhile, Salvation Army community ministries manager Kevin Richards said a debriefing meeting would be held this week about the food drive.

An estimated 40,000 items were collected during the November drive, down from about 50,000 normally collected.

Mr Richards said the public was still supportive of the food banks, but there had been "logistical problems" with the food drive.

"We're meeting this week to have a debrief, we've received public feedback as to some of the reasons the food drive might have been down 15 per cent.

"We're going to look into all of that and decide what changes we need to make."

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- The Manawatu Standard

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