The children of Tauranga's most needy families will get to enjoy Easter goodies thanks largely to the generosity of parishioners of St Thomas Moore Catholic Church.
Nearly 400 chocolate eggs and rabbits symbolising new life have been delivered to Tauranga Community Foodbank in what has become a tradition of Easter giving by the church congregation.
"It is very thoughtful and very kind because it does make a difference to families," said Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin.
She said it was a pity that the givers did not get to see the joy on the faces of the families when they saw the Easter treats in the food parcels.
Boosting the church's donation were the dozens of other eggs that were steadily coming in, including damaged supermarket eggs and the effort of a Tauranga woman who every year made up little Easter parcels.
Mrs Goodwin said all the eggs were bundled up into little groups and put into the parcels, leaving the decision to parents about whether they would be eaten on Easter Sunday or earlier.
The donations removed the pressure on hard-up families to spend money on Easter eggs. She said families liked to feel they could buy Easter treats for their children even when they could not afford it. "It is something out of the ordinary. It brightens their day."
The Foodbank was currently issuing about 120 food parcels a day, with the size of the parcels depending on the size of the family.
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Mrs Goodwin said they got great support from the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas appeal and the shelves looked really good, but they were getting through the food and the need was year-round. A substantial recent donation came from Heinz Wattie's.
"Foodbank was able to provide a really good service thanks to really good support," she said.