Sirens herald food appeal

"We have a generous community."

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2013
Food drive
DOMINIKA ZIELINSKA/Fairfax NZ
A GOOD CAUSE: Emersyn (4 mths) looks on as her dad Cody Hall hands a food parcel to Brad Haakma.

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Four fire brigade vehicles, eight cop cars, 20 trucks and about 160 volunteers hit the streets of New Plymouth last night collecting food in the annual food drive.

Fire Service operation support Dave Weir sounded his siren up and down Coronation Ave.

Behind him, Candice Matthews was busily stacking food into boxes as the blokes on her truck were running up and down the street picking up donations from people waiting at their gates.

"We've been working our way up Coronation Ave. It's been really good. The boys are doing the hard work. I'm doing the sorting," she said.

Appeal co-ordinator Mike Merrick worked until 10pm sorting the food as the trucks came back to base.

With help from about 30 students from Sacred Heart Girls' College and Francis Douglas Memorial College and a few adults, Mr Merrick will finish the sorting today, before moving it to the food bank.

With half the trucks back last night, Mr Merrick said it looked like a good year.

"We have a generous community. The weather makes a difference. And with the publicity a lot of were people waiting for the trucks.

"The kiddies, before they get ready for bed, like to hand over their tin of baked beans or whatever. "

"The food drive is an institution. It's a great community event," he said.

The food collected last night should last the foodbank about seven months.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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