Hunter donors give Christmas food to families in need 

Generous Hunter donors have given more than 110 kilograms of pre-packaged food and fresh produce for families in need to enjoy at Christmas.

Owners of The Fresh Ingredient at Georgetown, Mary O’Connor and Peter Hajevsky, designated Saturday as OzHarvest Day, encouraging customers to bring unopened, packaged food or purchase fresh produce for the food rescue charity.

‘‘Christmas can be a very stressful and very tense time of year for lots of families and a trigger point when lots of things fall apart,’’ Ms O’Connor said.

‘‘I was very impressed by the number of people that said ‘This is what I would like to see on my Christmas table, so I’m buying this for somebody else’s Christmas table.

‘‘There was amazing generosity of spirit.’’

Visitors to the store filled a produce bin with Christmas puddings and cakes, fruit and vegetables, biscuits, nuts, popcorn, pretzels, gourmet jams, cordial, drinks, canned vegetables and chocolates.

There were also some donations of toys, toiletries and cash for OzHarvest to buy pantry staples.

OzHarvest will distribute the donated food and gifts to charities and refuges over the coming weeks.

‘‘I just hope that for the children that are in more dire circumstances that they actually get to smile, eat something special and not worry about where their next meal is going to come from,’’ Ms O’Connor said.

‘‘Most parents just want to give their kids something special and if they don’t have to spend money on food they might be able to buy their children a gift.’’

The Fresh Ingredient will continue to collect donations for OzHarvest up to Christmas.

ozharvestnewcastle.org

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