Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Christmas appeal 'absolutely magic'

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Tauranga Community Foodbank chairman Alan Plunkett is pleased with the results of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal. Photo / Andrew Warner
Tauranga Community Foodbank chairman Alan Plunkett is pleased with the results of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal. Photo / Andrew Warner

A "magic" $120,000 has been raised for the Tauranga Community Foodbank through the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal.

The Christmas Eve provisional total for the Christmas Appeal was $110,736.53, which was above last year's final total of $107,519.05.

We've come through the year with flying colours thanks to the generosity of the Tauranga public.
Alan Plunkett

Yesterday, the appeal's final total was tallied and came to an all-time high of $120,451.53 - exceeding last year's total by almost $13,000.

Tauranga Community Foodbank chairman Alan Plunkett said the total was "absolutely magic".

"It's astonishing. We've come through the year with flying colours thanks to the generosity of the Tauranga public. It's been a wonderful year," he said.

"We've had help from school children, help from women and men in all walks of life coming to see if they can help.

"Not everyone gives cash or food - if every person gave some time to charities, the world would be a much better place."

Mr Plunkett said the goods donated through the appeal would last about three months and from there, the foodbank would get help from the school's appeal.

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"We've had an interesting year at Foodbank, and so has Tauranga, with an influx of people from all around the place."

Mr Plunkett said the foodbank's profile in the community was rising.

"The more people that physically come and have a look to see what it is, they get more empathy to be honest. They put themselves in the other people's shoes and say 'how can I do something about this?'

"I'm dreaming a big dream where people will give some of their time, maybe they are a mechanic and will offer to help with the van, or something like that."

He hoped the increased profile would help with fundraising the $40,000 the foodbank will need to pay for commercial rent and rates.

"We didn't have to pay this in the past thanks to the generosity of the council, but now we have to pay rent, it's as simple as that.

"We're not alone in that, other charities have to do the same thing, but other charities are differently funded.

"We will get there - we have to."

Mr Plunkett said the foodbank would be approaching various agencies to request funding towards paying the rent and rates. He hoped there would be someone who would commit to paying a set amount towards this annual cost each year.

Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal totals:

* 2015: $120,451.53

* 2014: $107,519.05

* 2013: $86,496.95

* 2012: $67,008

* 2011: $53,169.57

- Bay of Plenty Times

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