The cupboards at the Tauranga Community Foodbank are "bulging at the seams" thanks to the 2013 Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal, which raised more than $86,000 for the charity.

Donations continued to trickle in during the days before and after Christmas pushing the provisional total of $75,000 up to a record-setting final figure of $86,496.95. Businesses, community groups and individuals donated $55,362.95 in cash and 20,756 items, which were valued at $1.50 each.

Last year's appeal raised $67,000 for the foodbank.

Foodbank chairman Mike Baker said he was amazed by the generosity of the community.

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"I was hoping we could get near last year's total with no anticipation that we would exceed it by that level. It's quite gratifying. It's tough out there," he said. "It's certainly set us up for 2014."

Mr Baker said the appeal would give the foodbank a lot more flexibility and take the pressure off throughout the year.

"The donations from the community mean we don't have to dip into our funds until they are depleted," he said. "The appeal, which has gone from strength-to-strength each year, makes it easier for us and the people we are helping.

"A huge thank you to everyone who helped out."

It was not only those who donated during the appeal but the people and groups who donated and volunteered all year round which allowed the foodbank to keep running, he said.

The cupboards at the foodbank were "bulging at the seams" but it would not last for long.

In the week leading up to Christmas the foodbank gave out more than 220 food parcels and this week 160 were given out.

Christmas was always the busiest time of year but, with the economy improving, Mr Baker expected the numbers would drop back to the usual weekly figure of about 125 food parcels.

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"The success of the foodbank is when fewer and fewer people need our services but we are there as a helping hand. There will always be a need among certain people," Mr Baker said.

A strict referral process meant only those who needed help the most were eligible for food parcels.