Big-hearted Lottie leads donation drive for foodbank
HEARING stories about people being unable to feed themselves or their children has prompted a big-hearted Curlewis teen into action to help support her local foodbank.
Lottie Hughes, 14, rides her bike – with little trailer and dog Truffles in tow – around her local neighbourhood to collect donations for the Drysdale Family Support Foodbank.
Lottie started by doing a letterbox drop to about 20 houses in her street, but over the weeks has expanded her route and been blown away by the support.
“My parents are health workers and I had been hearing some awful stories about how people were suffering and many families that had never needed help financially, were suddenly unable to feed themselves or their children like they had before,” Lottie said.
“I feel so grateful to have been able to still have enough food and a nice house to live in … so I researched foodbanks in the area and really liked that the Drysdale foodbank was so local to me and within my 5km restriction.”
Lottie said some houses contributed a few cans, while some had been out shopping especially, and donated two to three shopping bags full of non perishable food, baby nappies and toiletries.
“I thought it would help to line up my collection day with something they would remember and suggested ‘Bins out Food out’ and attached a little note for them to put on their fridge,” she said.
“I also thought it would be handy to have a plastic box with a sign on it under my letterbox for anyone wanting to drop items that way instead.”
Lottie, who attends Geelong College, said it got to the stage where she had to ask her mum Michelle to drive her to pick up the donations because her trailer got so heavy and full.
“I have been collecting every week, and have been blown away by all the donations made and how some people even went out and shopped for the event, it warmed my heart,” she said.
“I’ve been surprised that each time I receive so much, like maybe a whole trolley’s worth of food.
“So much food from one street in only one week!”
Lottie said she also liked to leave a little thankyou note in each letterbox.
“A week ago I wrote and dropped them a newsletter with a photo of me and foodbank coordinator Jake Hogendoorn at the food bank and let them know how appreciative Jake was.
“I also mentioned in it how the single use packaged items were particularly useful as there are so many people forced to live in their cars at the moment.
“When I did my collection the next Tuesday, people had specifically gone out and bought lots of single use items specifically for these people, I couldn’t believe it!
“I thought people might just empty out their pantries, not specially shop for a donation.”
Lottie said she also made origami paper cranes with thankyou notes with her sister and popped them into letterboxes last week.
“I plan on continuing weekly for now and have letter dropped new streets each week as donations drop off a bit,” she said.
“I’ve really loved the personal little notes from my neighbours thanking me, that’s been the best part.
“I’ve also gotten to know a lot more of the neighbours from riding my bike up and down.
“And Jake at the foodbank is always so appreciative and encouraging, it feels good to be able to help in a little way.”
Lottie is among a handful of locals helping to support the foodbank, with teen Mikey Tredinnick recently fundraising in his neighbourhood and putting out a basket at his Martial Arts Academy.
He collected two baskets of food and $210, while Noble Foods in Leopold collected donations for the month of August.
Sam from Il Matto Pizza in Torquay also dropped off 50 freshly made pizzas.
“We have an amazing younger generation who are prepared to go out and do something to help others, and we have a wonderful community around us who are willing to respond,” Jake said.
If you would like to support the foodbank, donations can be made to Drysdale Family Support, Bendigo
Bank, BSB 633 000, ACCOUNT 118464429.