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Grateful . . . Oamaru Churches Food Bank manager Bernard Wilkinson thanks the North Otago community for all of its generous donations. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

Let there be cake, non-perishables and produce.

Thanks to the community’s generosity, it is business as usual at the Oamaru Churches Food Bank, manager Bernard Wilkinson says.

“The North Otago community is extremely generous … we believe we are well able to cope with demands in the near future,” Archdeacon Wilkinson said.

“We have always had sufficient resources to cope with whatever demands are made upon us.”

When lockdown started last year, there was a “surge” of food and monetary donations.

Though there were not as many monetary donations, there were many food donations made at the start of this year’s lockdown.

Lockdown or not, the foodbank would always welcome monetary and food donations, Archdeacon Wilkinson said.

“If people have spare food or money they wish to donate, if they get in touch with me, I’d be very happy to meet them at the foodbank or collect it.”

Though the service was closed during lockdown, it was available by appointment.

Usually, social workers would identify a client’s need for the service and would get in touch with Archdeacon Wilkinson.

Under lockdown, there had not been an increase in those accessing the food service.

Each December, the North Otago Lions Club Toot for Tucker food drive set the foodbank up for the year, Archdeacon Wilkinson said.

“At the time of Toot for Tucker, the response is astonishing.

“The foodbank is enormously thankful for the incredible generosity of the entire North Otago district. And I’m talking North Otago from Omarama down to Palmerston.”