Residents of Oamaru and districts have opened their hearts and larders to donate the biggest-ever collection of items for the annual Toot for Tucker which was held on Monday evening.
Sirens were heard all over Oamaru and Weston and drivers and runners took about 30 minutes to cover the streets to pick up donations and thank the donors.
The collection has received its biggest-ever amount of donated goods. It is organised and promoted by the Oamaru North Otago Lions Club, assisted by Oamaru, Oamaru Pakeke, Waiareka Valley and Waianakarua Lions Clubs, the Leo's Club, local fire brigades and their fire engines, Columba Scouts, the Air Training Corps, Scott's Own Sea Scouts, St John Youth, the Kakanui Store and police.
Spokesman for the Combined Churches Foodbank, Archdeacon Bernard Wilkinson, said the level of generosity from the people of Oamaru and districts never ceases to amaze him.
"When this event was first started by the Oamaru North Otago Lions Club, there was a certain amount of trepidation as to whether it would continue," he said. "Every year, the level of generosity increases and this year, it has outstripped all previous years.
"The food bank has received an outstanding boost to cope with the demands which will no doubt be placed on it during the year."
Publicity officer Fay Birtles said the mountain of non-perishable food will help those struggling to make ends meet.
"Thank you to everyone who gave so generously and to those who helped with the collection."