The drinks are on me, says Bay businessman

By Genevieve Helliwell

A hefty donation from a local bakery will see foodbank clients receive a liquid treat in their food parcels this festive season.

The Big Bake bakery has donated $7500 worth of drink products to the Tauranga Community Foodbank in support of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal.

Foodbank chairman Mike Baker said the donation was the largest the charity had received this year.

Owner of the Fraser Cove and the Papamoa Bakery, Justin Beaufill, said donating to the foodbank was a way he could help others at "a difficult time of the year".

He has owned the two businesses for six years while his parents, Harold and Margaret Beaufill, have owned the Te Puke Big Bake for more than 20 years.

The donation was made possible after the business' three-year contract with drinks company Frucor ended last month. The business picked up a new contract with Coca Cola, and as a result, the business was left with thousands of drinks it could not sell.

Its retail value was $7500.

"Some of my friends said I should go down to the beach, sell the stuff and make a bit of money but we didn't want to," Mr Beaufill said.

"We weren't out of pocket from it [Coca Cola reimbursed them the value of the product] and Coca Cola suggested we donate it to charity and my partner Sue McKay chose the foodbank.

"I know how valuable the foodbank is ... we know it's a worthy cause and being able to do this is really good timing for Christmas.

"It's nice to be able to support the local community and we encourage other businesses to do the same," he said.

The donation included juice, energy drinks and fizzy drinks. Each item is being valued at $1.50 but it's true worth is at least double that.

Foodbank chairman Mike Baker said drink donations were rare, and the drinks would be a special addition to food parcels over Christmas and into the New Year.

"Drinks are something we don't buy so when people bring them in it's much appreciated. And energy drinks are really good for people who are hungry - it fills them up and gives them a bit of a boost."

Mr Baker thanked Big Bake bakery for their support and said their donation would help ease the worry of some people who would struggle at Christmas.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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