Children and staff at a local kindergarten will be digging deep to help those in need this Christmas.

The Rotorua Daily Post launched its annual Christmas Appeal on Saturday, with a $1000 donation to the Salvation Army Foodbank.

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

Read more: Opinion: Christmas Appeal a simple way to make a difference

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This is the second year Central Kids Elstree has taken part in the appeal.

Annabel Rose, 4, said some people did not have any food for their lunch box, so they were buying them some food and bringing it to kindergarten for the Salvation Army.

Head teacher Pettah Harriman said Elstree's philosophy was grounded on building kindness and empathy in their children, and giving back to the community was one way to teach them those values.

Annabel Rose, 4, (front) and (clockwise, back left) Sakidu Mudiyanselage, 4, Aroha Bryers, 3, Pettah Harriman, Chehan Kannangara, 3, Tai Filipo, 4, Ali Watkins, 3, and Carter Smith, 4 Photo/Ben Fraser
Annabel Rose, 4, (front) and (clockwise, back left) Sakidu Mudiyanselage, 4, Aroha Bryers, 3, Pettah Harriman, Chehan Kannangara, 3, Tai Filipo, 4, Ali Watkins, 3, and Carter Smith, 4 Photo/Ben Fraser

She said instilling these values at this age were important because a child's early years built the foundation for learning.

Harriman said it was important, with all the things happening in the world, to give back to the community.

She said the Salvation Army did a great job every year, "everything they do is about helping those in need".

Last year, the kindergarten had three big boxes which would have contained at least 200 items, she said.

"We would like to make that goal and go a bit higher if possible.

"It's really rewarding doing something for others and even if it's just something small."

Harriman said she also enjoyed seeing the joy the children had from bringing the items and being part of the process of gifting them to the Salvation Army.