Every year we ask for your help in making sure no one in Rotorua has to go hungry through the festive season - and beyond.

Every year it's needed.

And every year we are amazed and humbled by the generosity of individuals, schools, businesses and community groups who take up the challenge to fill the Salvation Army foodbank shelves to overflowing.

It's that time again Rotorua.

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The Rotorua Daily Post 2017 Christmas Appeal kicks off today and this year we need your help as much as before.

From now until December 22, in conjunction with the Rotorua Weekender and The Hits 97.5FM, the Rotorua Daily Post is seeking non-perishable food donations to help the Salvation Army continue its good work throughout the Christmas period and into 2018.

The goal is to provide 200 families with Christmas hampers - 70 more than last year.

Rotorua police are on board and there are countless other organisations ready to get involved.

We all know there is poverty in Rotorua - the statistics and the human stories tell us that. Families are homeless, children are going to school hungry and volunteers working within the community are struggling to keep up with demand for their services. Our elderly are suffering - many in silence.

Sometimes it all feels too overwhelming. We wonder what we can do that could possibly make a difference.

This is one very small and very simple way you can do just that. A can of food may not seem much, and for most of us, it isn't.

But if everyone pitches in, those thousands of small gestures all of a sudden become one big one. One big, life-changing one.

For the team at the Rotorua Daily Post, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without our Christmas Appeal.

Over the coming weeks we will be reminding, cajoling and imploring you to get involved. We will be sharing stories of those helping out, so don't forget to let us know your Appeal plans.

The festive season starts now Rotorua. Bring on the cans!