'Magic' as donations flood in

By Amy McGillivray

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Jen Riley and Holly Cutbush of Sport Bay of Plenty with their donation to the Tauranga Foodbank. Photo / Joel Ford
Jen Riley and Holly Cutbush of Sport Bay of Plenty with their donation to the Tauranga Foodbank. Photo / Joel Ford

Businesses and schools are wrapping up their efforts to collect donations for the foodbank on the final day of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal.

Sport Bay of Plenty operations team leader Paula Hudson challenged the offices in Tauranga, Whakatane and Rotorua to each come up with the largest donation for their local foodbank.

Staff at the Tauranga office had donated a box of about 30 items and about $120 in cash, she said.

"Every little bit helps," she said. "I think everyone cleaned out canned items from their drawers that they hadn't eaten all year."

Along with the usual donations of soup and baked beans, staff bought Christmas puddings and chocolates to spread the festive cheer, she said.

The box of goodies will be taken down to the foodbank today to be added to the appeal's total.

Bellevue School also rounded off its appeal collection this week.

The foodbank appeal was advertised in the school newsletter and on a flyer that went out to all families.

As of Wednesday evening, 14,239 food items and $42,485.95 in cash donations had come in, giving a total of $63,844.45 raised.

Chairman Mike Baker said donations continued to flood in yesterday.

"We've had more than 1500 items today and I left at midday. The food was just pouring in," he said.

Mr Baker said the continued donations were due to the high profile given to the Tauranga Community Foodbank through the Bay of Plenty Times appeal.

"It's absolutely magic," he said.

Demand has been increasing during the past week, with 57 food parcels given out on Wednesday alone, almost double the 25 to 30 parcels handed out on a normal day, he said.

Mr Baker said it was only because of the commitment and passion of the foodbank volunteers that the charity was able to operate.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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