Saturday, November 26, 2016
■ TOOT FOR TUCKER
Toot for Tucker ready to roll By Sue NewmaN
Sixteen years on some of the faces might have changed, but what hasn’t changed when car horns start blaring on Monday night is the generosity of the community to give bags of groceries to the annual Toot for Tucker foodbank appeal, says a spokesperson. For all of those years, Ashburton County Lions has been the driving force behind the annual appeal that sees the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul well stocked with groceries ahead of the festive season. And each year the giving gets bigger. All records were broken last year when 320 banana boxes filled with groceries were given to the two charities; she is hoping this year’s effort will top that. It’s a simple recipe – collectors gather, pick up their maps and boxes and head out to drive the streets of town, tooting their horns to signal they are in the area. Residents head for their front gates, bags filled with groceries in their hands and hand them over to collectors. Specially marked bags supplied
Collectors for the 2015 Toot for Tucker receive last-minute instructions before hitting the streets to collect groceries that boost the district’s foodbanks. PHOTO TETSURO MITOMO 301115-TM-121 by Property Brokers will arrive in mailboxes this week and people can fill these or they can use supermarket bags. What the groceries are in doesn’t matter, it’s the giving that counts, she said.
Two years ago the collection moved its headquarters to the Ashburton Racecourse; it had outgrown its previous base in the Walnut Avenue cricket pavilion. Non-perishable food, toiletries,
pet food, miscellaneous groceries, they are all welcome, but what’s not wanted are items that have come from the back of the pantry with a long-ago expiry date. The response is generally pretty
amazing, the spokesperson said. “A lot of people who do give are happy to do this because for them it’s come round full circle; in the past they may have been recipients of help.” Residents who know they may not be home when the horns start tooting in their area, can leave their bags of food at the gate, she said. While Toot for Tucker focuses its collection efforts on Ashburton, other groups and organisations have mounted their own collection projects. Among these are the Hinds Fire Brigade and students at several schools. Collectors with their trucks or cars and trailers should be at the Ashburton Racecourse by 5.45pm on Monday to receive instructions and collect route maps. Most are on the road for around two hours before returning laden with bags and boxes of goodies. As donations arrive at the racecourse, Lions members begin the long job of sorting and boxing these ready for collection by the charities. This year a third, Presbyterian Support, has been added to the list.
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Ashburton Guardian, Saturday, November 26, 2016