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St Vincent de Paul shop manager Donna Collins (left) refilling the foodbank pantry with the delivery from Property Brokers Ashburton's Kirsty Clay, Rachel Curd, Karen McRae and Amy Muckle.

A generous community response to the Unlock ‘n’ Restock drive will help many families and individuals in Mid Canterbury in the coming weeks.

The drive was organised by Property Brokers Ashburton as a way to help the community in the leadup to winter, and as a result of Covid-19.

Realtor Rachel Curd thanked members of the community for their generous support which would help other people access foodbanks.

“There is a little bit of uncertainty out there at the moment just on the back of Covid and we’re making sure people don’t go without during this period.”

She said it was one way the realtors could help the community and it followed on from the company’s involvement with Toot for Tucker, usually run later in the year.

The food drive also had the support of Tinwald Supervalue, Netherby Four Square and New World Ashburton who were collection points in town.

She said donations were received from schools, businesses and individuals, even after the drive had closed. Donated items included canned goods, pasta, dried beverages such as teas and coffees, personal care products, baby products and sanitary items. The donations will be spilt between St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army foodbanks, both in Ashburton.

St Vincent de Paul shop manager Donna Collins said the volume of donated goods was fantastic.

“The generosity out there is amazing, especially with the hard times that everyone is feeling at the moment through Covid-19.”

Mrs Collins said the foodbank had been reasonably steady over lockdown but the organisation was keeping its ear to the ground for any families that were struggling, but too embarrassed to come forward.

“It’s quite hard to ask for help and so we listen and pick up on families.

“Sometimes families get referred by other family members and that’s good and we help where we can.”

Anyone in need, or looking to refer other families or individuals can text or phone 027 6070107.

St Vincent de Paul also works with other agencies in town to help people.

They are one of two main foodbanks in Ashburton and traditionally deal with up to 15 families a week, however that number was likely to increase quite dramatically, she said.

The foodbank purchases a lot of its own supplies for those in need so appreciates any support.

They recently received a mince donation from the Meat the Need organisation, which will continue on a monthly basis, and also has farmers/individuals donating animals directly (after processing). Vegetable processor Talley’s also donates, as well as other community individuals and businesses.

“A huge thank you to everybody who’s donated and a huge thank you to Property Brokers for getting in behind this.”