Residents across Tauranga South dug deep and donated carloads of food tonight for the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal for the Tauranga Community Foodbank.

Bay of Plenty Times staff and foodbank volunteers hit the streets, knocked on the doors of Greerton residents and collected non-perishable food for the organisation.

One man emptied the avocados off his tree to have something to give. While another saw a Bay of Plenty Times car driving around the suburb, went back into his home, packed a box of food and then tracked down a volunteer to hand the food over.

Greerton resident Frances Agar opened her door to staff members and donated five items to the cause.


"I was just watching on the TV the need around the country. Lots of people don't have anything for Christmas and whereas others are so overstocked."

Ms Agar said she had been meaning to get down to the Tauranga Community Foodbank to make a donation this year after knowing the good it does.

Bay of Plenty Times Christmas appeal co-ordinator Sonya Bateson said it was heart-warming to see how generously the Greerton community gave, in one of the most successful can drives.

"Co-ordinating the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal is always a highlight at this time of year. You get to see the giving nature of the local community and Christmas spirit in action.

"Not many people say no when you ask them for food, people were emptying what they had in their pantries to help.

"They know the Tauranga Foodbank is a really great cause."

NZME multimedia advertising representative Keryn Hodge said the need in the Tauranga community was very visible.

"It's important to remember organisations like the foodbank during the Christmas period. There are a lot more struggling with the cost of rent and living rising so there is always more pressure at Christmas time."

Bay of Plenty Times editor Scott Inglis said everybody had been generous on the can drive.

"We really appreciate the food the people of Greerton donated. It has made a real difference to people who really need the help of the foodbank."

Mr Inglis said the organisation was such a great cause especially at this time of year.

Tonight's can drive will be followed by another on December 5 in Bellevue, where volunteers will be visiting homes on Windsor St, Princess Rd and Sherwood St.

Volunteers would be looking to collect donations of non-perishable food such as cans, dried pasta, recipe mixes, and sanitary items.

The following week on December 13, the last can drive will be run in Arataki around Grenada St.