Sirens on Tuesday evening with food drive

More than 180 volunteers, with 40 vehicles helped on the Pāpāmoa emergency food drive last Tuesday. This week on Tuesday December 7, the food drive will collect from streets at Mount Maunganui South and Otumoetai. Photo: Supplied.

Sirens will be switched on and lights flashing as emergency vehicles slowly make their way through the streets of Mount Maunganui and Tauranga on Tuesday night collecting food and items to help families over the summer.

Police will be leading, with Community Constables in charge.

Kurt Waugh, organising the Mount Maunganui collection for Police, says they’re hoping for generous donations from the public for Tauranga Foodbank.

The Mount collection on Tuesday December 7 with run from 6pm to 8pm from Concord Ave to Sunrise Ave and includes Matapihi.

The Tauranga collection will be run along Otumoetai Rd, also collecting food for the Tauranga Foodbank. Volunteers are needed for the collection run as well as volunteers with trailers. The teams will leave from Tauranga Domain at 5.30pm.

"Please leave donations of canned goods and non-perishable food items at your letterbox or at the front fence so that our volunteers can collect the items contactlessly," says Western Bay of Plenty Neighbourhood Support Manager Bruce Banks.

"When you hear the sirens you will know we are in your street."

"Please give generously so that someone not as fortunate as yourself can receive help over the festive season."

Pāpāmoa Lions helped support the Pāpāmoa food drive last Tuesday. Photo: Supplied.

Pāpāmoa was the first suburb to be visited last Tuesday. Bruce says there were more than 180 volunteers, with 40 vehicles from Neighbourhood Support members.

"We collected tons of food - and more than $1800 in donations," says Bruce.

"The food will last throughout 2022 at Papamoa Family Services too. Thanks to everyone who took part."

The annual Emergency Services Food Drive, now in its 11th year, is happening over two nights last  week and this coming week, as teams of volunteers take to the streets and suburbs of Tauranga to collect donations to help local food banks over the Christmas period.

On Tuesday evening, Neighbourhood Support and NZ Police will be joined by Fire and Emergency NZ, St John’s Ambulance, MPI Fisheries and Search and Rescue as they canvas the streets of the Mount South and Tauranga.

The entourage will be cruising around the streets in the early evening on Tuesday collecting non-perishable food donations from letterboxes.

“This year we are not only collecting tinned, non-perishable food, pasta and rice, but also toiletries, baby needs, sanitary items, and pet food," says Bruce.

This year the collection is contactless, with households leaving donations at letterboxes to be collected by runners. In the interests of keeping our people safe from Covid, people are reminded to please remember social distancing and mask wearing.

Donations of non-perishable goods can be left in plain view for collection, and people reminded that there is only a two-hour window for the collection, and the collectors will do their best to get to every street.

"Thank you in advance for your generosity. It is so nice to live in a community that cares for those less fortunate than ourselves," says Bruce.

On Tuesday December 7, the emergency services food drive will take place in Bayfair, Oumoetai, Katikati, Omokoroa, Maketu and Pukehina.

Some of the items collected in a previous food drive. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

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