Media Release: Octacan collection to support local foodbank

The annual Octacan collection, in support of Family Works foodbank, will take place on Thursday, 20 June from 7.30am in the lower Octagon.

This is the eleventh Octacan that Presbyterian Support Otago has organised. Community support and donations to Octacan have increased every year, from 4,000 items donated in the very first Octacan (2009), to over 22,000 items last year.

The combined total is impressive, with over 120,000 items donated by a very generous public during the last ten Octacan events.

Debbie Gelling, Family Works Practice Manager, said, “Our Family Works team can distribute up to 10,000 items in food parcels each month to individuals and families in need in Dunedin. Our foodbank is one of three in Dunedin and provides a critical service for the local community."

“As we head into winter we know that budgets get tighter with increased costs that come with the colder damp weather because of additional household costs such as heating, drying of clothing, additional transport costs.”

“Buying food is often the only space that people have in their budget that can be flexible, and at times it gets stretched that little bit too thin.”

Octacan is a very easy way for the public to support us with cans and coin donations to help us help those who need to fill that gap. People are encouraged to bring their can or dried food donations to the Octagon on the collection day. 

Cash donations are also really appreciated. Presbyterian Support Otago will have a street appeal in the centre city throughout the day, or people can give via the website 

Cash donations are used to top up our foodbank resources when they are low, and used to support those who have specialised dietary requirements for health reasons.

“We know that Otago people are always very generous and supportive of Octacan. We would love to see as many people as possible come to the Octagon with a can or two on Thursday 20 June.”

Let’s see if the Otago community can continue the trend of going above and beyond! If you are in Dunedin, please join us for Octacan on Thursday, 20 June 2019, from 7.30am.


About the Family Works foodbank:

  • The foodbank can give out up to 80 food parcels a week, which can mean we distribute up to 10,000 food items each month. A food parcel supplies enough food for three days.
  • Donations given at Octacan provide food items that will last until the end of the year. These are topped up with bread, milk and fresh product each week, as they are available.
  • Family Works has been running a foodbank in Dunedin in some form for well over 30 years. Demand in the last few years has remained consistent.
  • The most common food in a food parcel are items such as pasta, rice, tinned foods like tomatoes, baked beans, fruit, breakfast cereal and toiletries.
  • The items we need donations of are any of the above, or other items you feel would be useful.

 Media contact: Warren Rosser, Communications and Marketing Manager
027 702 8790