By Casey Neill
The Belgrave South Baptist Church community will donate more than 1000 cans of food to help those in need.
The church has collected cans for the Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service (DRERS) for the past six or seven years, starting with 200 the first time around.
Senior Pastor Tim Dyer said families had been adding cans to their weekly grocery shop since the start of May, aiming for 1500 cans.
“We feel as though we’re going to reach that target, which is great,” he said.
The DRERS will pick up the collection in the first week of June.
“We try to get people to donate with the pop tops, so they don’t need a can opener,” Pastor Dyer said.
“All the cans get used up by the time winter’s finished. None are leftover.
“It’s a real, practical and easy way to help.
“Everyone can buy a couple of cans when they go shopping.
“We don’t want to just be a church that opens Sundays. We’re connected with the community.
“We want to be an expression of God’s love in a practical way.”
DRERS CEO Tania Bevan said the donation would make a huge difference.
“It has a really big impact on being able to feed families, people who are homeless,” she said.
“Cans are great for people who are homeless because they can carry that meal around with them.
“We are really grateful for what Belgrave South Baptist does.
“That is a lot of cans. It’s going to help a lot of people.”
To other people who’d like to help with donations, Ms Bevan suggested they think about what they put in their own trolley.
“Then it’s something that someone will use. We’re all very similar,” she said.
“We all use toilet paper, we all use shampoo.”
But aside from the most basic necessities, Ms Bevan encouraged donations of the ‘basics’ that make people’s days a little brighter.
“Some people go to a cafe and have a coffee every day, but some people can’t even afford instant coffee,” she said.
DRERS is at 1616/1624 Burwood Highway, Belgrave, and can be contacted on 9754 7777.