The Tauranga Community Foodbank has been gifted "the Rolls-Royce of fridges" by the Mount Maunganui Lions and Lionesses.

Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said the donation came as a great surprise and would make her volunteers' jobs much easier.

"Once again it is the generosity of groups such as the Lions that are helping out other community groups and working to make our town a better place," she said.

Pip Dargaville, treasurer and soon-to-be president of the Mount Maunganui Lionesses, volunteered at the foodbank over Christmas and saw firsthand the "phenomenal" work they were doing.

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"She actually asked us what would be on our wish list, that's not something we get asked every day," Goodwin said. "Extra chiller space was on the list."

The brand-new, glass-door refrigerator was delivered and set up about two weeks ago. It is worth around $5000.

Dargaville said: "I saw the traffic that was coming through and I asked Nicki, what do you need?"

She said the money came from the annual Mount Maunganui Lions and Lionesses Book Fair in January.

"We look at a joint project after the book fair to donate to and I suggested the chiller."

The fact the foodbank was basically run by volunteers made it a very worthy cause to support.

"It's just brilliant. I watched what was going on here over Christmas and it's just absolutely phenomenal – the work they do here," Dargaville said.

Mount Maunganui Lions Club secretary Paul Coleman said the fridge was bought at cost price thanks to the generosity of Hamill Refrigeration in Auckland.

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He said it was "the Rolls-Royce of fridges" and should last longer than the building.

Coleman said the foodbank was a great community project that fitted well with the Lions' motto – "We Serve".

"We're very well aware that there is a big percentage of our society that are struggling and we do our very best to help," Coleman said.

- Scott Yeoman