Arataki residents generously got behind the first can drive of this year's Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal.
Bay of Plenty Times staff and family last night knocked on doors down Concord Ave, Paterson St, Farm St, Taupo Ave, Berescourt Place and surrounding streets collecting donations of food for the Tauranga Community Foodbank.
Volunteer firefighters helped by driving the streets sounding their sirens to make residents aware of the campaign.
Reporter Sonya Bateson said the response was unbelievable.
"We had some people who just gave amazing amounts of food," she said.
A number of the people who contributed said they were usually the ones using the foodbank but liked to give back when they could.
Foodbank chairman Mike Baker estimated more than 500 items were collected.
The Christmas Appeal launched less than two weeks ago and since then, more than $11,800 has been raised for the foodbank.
Not including last night's collection, more than 690 items have been donated to the foodbank during the appeal, with each item valued at $1.50.
Cash donations of more than $10,800 have been dropped off to the foodbank and transferred into the appeal bank account.
A can drive will be held in Otumoetai on December 4 and in Greerton on December 12.
Donations for the Foodbank can be made at any Westpac branch, Bay of Plenty Times office (Tauranga, Katikati or Te Puke) or at the foodbank on Dive Cres.