Octacan is our major Winter food drive – where we invite you to help us re-stock our Family Works Foodbank by donating cans and non-perishable food. Ours is Dunedin’s busiest food bank and supports many local people through the winter months.
Traditionally, Octacan is held on the shortest day in mid-winter, as a reminder of the real need that exists in the community during the colder months. This year we are holding Octacan on a date that is aligned with the raising of Matariki – marking the Māori New Year, to highlight the importance of sharing kai and gathering together as a community.
Māori astronomer, Professor Dr Rangi Mātāmu says, “In the past, all life revolved around gathering kai and securing food and water sources for survival. People worked hard during the harvest to fill their stores, then in the cold months around the new year, they would gather to keep warm, share kai and entertain each other”.
This year we will be arranging donated cans into the star shapes of the Matariki cluster. When Matariki rises in the Otago skies the following morning, the Māori New Year begins.
Getting involved is easy! You can start right now by donating online below or start gathering cans and coins by setting up a collection point and then drop your donations off at the Lower Octagon on the day.