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Tooting for tucker ... The Oamaru Combined Lions Club's annual "Toot for Tucker" food bank appeal was held on Monday night. Loading up the boot of a police car in Leith St are local cadets (from left) Aaron Baird, Jason Shieffelbein and Liam Hayes. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

The annual “Toot for Tucker” food appeal was held in Oamaru on Monday night.

For two hours, sirens heralded the arrival of a small army of volunteers who, despite the heat, ran tirelessly up and down streets, picking up bags of food and cans donated by residents for the Oamaru food bank.

Oamaru Churches Food Bank manager Bernard Wilkinson said he was grateful for the community’s response to the annual appeal, organised by the North Otago Lions Club.

“It is absolutely amazing,” he said. “Now we can plan ahead to cope with the demand for the next 12 months.”

Sorting it out … Working their way through a mountain of food are (from left) Bernard Wilkinson, Alwyn McLay, Joyce Smillie and Rosemary Bentley. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

Volunteers from the Air Training Corps, police, fire brigade, St John and youth groups spread out over the town to fill car boots with donations.

By yesterday morning, a mountain of shopping bags filled with cans and packets of food were being sorted by volunteers, who also asked for further contributions of fresh fruit for making into jam.

Jam-maker Joyce Smillie said she was desperate for more fresh fruit to make the 700 jars she produces annually that are included in food parcels.

“Any excess fresh fruit will do – just give us a call down at the food bank and we will be very grateful,” she said.