The Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal for the Tauranga Community Foodbank has raised nearly $45,000.
There are still five days to go in the appeal, which officially finishes on Friday, December 21.
To date, 13,741 items have been collected since the appeal's launch on November 10 and $23,887 in cash.
Each item is being valued at $1.50 but many of the donated items, including Christmas puddings and chocolates, were worth "a lot more", said foodbank chairman Mike Baker.
Last week the charity was given a substantial boost with a $6000 cash donation from the Port of Tauranga, a $1000 donation from the Mount Maunganui Rotary Club and a $3000 anonymous donation.
"It's absolutely staggering. This is a huge amount," Mr Baker told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend.
"It's turning into a snowball effect and it's similar to what we saw last year.
There's only a week or so to go in this appeal and what we've been hearing is that people have been thinking about wanting to donate for a while now but now that time is running out, they're coming down ahead of Christmas ... and it's all beginning to add up," he said.
"This time of year can be extremely tough for families so I'm absolutely blown away with the generosity of the Tauranga community."
At the foodbank, the number of food parcels issued this week has been higher than normal, with 45 on Thursday and 38 on Friday. And instead of 3-4 new clients per week, 10 new clients were approved for food parcels this week.
"We're issuing a huge number of food parcels at the moment. It's averaging at more than 200 per week and that's unheard of," Mr Baker said.
"Traditionally it does get busier at this time of year ... but the fact that we're seeing more new clients needing this service is of a huge concern. It just shows people in Tauranga are still battling."
"I wouldn't call it $10 Tauranga anymore but $13.50 Tauranga, and unfortunately that's not going to cut the mustard these days."
Because of the overload at the foodbank, its volunteers have been busy. Mr Baker said their efforts were being recognised and the foodbank was receiving Christmas cards and messages of thanks from people donating and receiving.
Food, particularly non-perishable items, would be gratefully accepted but the foodbank was particularly in need of personal care items and baby food.
Bay of Plenty Times editor Scott Inglis said he was heartened by the response: "There are some very generous, caring people in Tauranga. Their generosity will make a real difference to people really struggling to feed themselves and their families, especially at this time of the year."
CHRISTMAS HOURS AT THE FOODBANK
Open weekdays from 9.30am-2pm.
Closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, December 27 and 28.
Open on New Years Eve (Monday, December 29)
Closed New Years Day and January 2.
Resume normal hours on Thursday, January 3.