Forty-eight Catholic schools have participated this year in Cans for Christmas, a community-building project that enables the St Vincent de Paul Society to provide families with food parcels.
The project was launched in 2015 with 10 Auckland schools taking part. Now nationwide, this year it involved 37 Auckland school and 11 from other parts of the country.
This year’s collection was run over three different days to allow all the schools a chance to participate and give generously.
The initiative is led by Bill Hadnett, principal of Christ the King School at Owairaka, Auckland. His 2020 target was to collect 30,000 cans and, even with the interruptions of Covid-19, the total has reached 31,000 with a couple of schools still to collect.
The 2020 collection is expected to help around 3000 families in a time of need. Currently around 22,000 cans have been distributed out to families, with 8000 cans left to go out.
As well as helping families the Cans for Christmas will save St Vincent de Paul about $35,000 it would have spent buying food for these parcels.
Mr Hadnett says Cans for Christmas is a charity that runs on donations. This year the costs were higher due to offering three collection dates.