Over only 72 hours the Tauranga Community Foodbank has had almost $5500 cash and 866 food items donated.

"Oh my, this appeal has taken off big time," foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said yesterday.

"Once again it is the Tauranga community reaching out to help others."

Read more: Foodbank SOS: 'Valued' Tauranga service needs help amid rising costs
Struggling Bay of Plenty families feeling winter pressures early
Opinion: Not all kids lucky enough to have food on the table
Tauranga Community Foodbank gifted 'the Rolls-Royce of fridges'

Advertisement

On Monday the Bay of Plenty Times launched a Foodbank SOS appeal to help the organisation fill its shelves in the lead-up to winter.

As well as high demand, the foodbank is dealing with rising costs and has to pay $42,000 rent this year for the first time.

"I have received a lot of phone calls from people expressing their disappointment in hearing about the amount of rent that foodbank has to pay to maintain its service and also phoning to find out what food we really do need," Goodwin said.

She said generous members of the public were actually writing shopping lists and then heading to the supermarket to buy suggested items.

"Our volunteers received a bag of cans today from a gentleman who needed help from foodbank a number of years ago and decided now was the time for him to give back – we can't thank him enough."

Another man went away and spent $417 on items the foodbank needs.

"So although it is bad news in regards to our rising costs it is so heartwarming to be at the foodbank and see how amazing other people are, and they really do care," Goodwin said.

"I want to remind everyone who is giving to foodbank, whether through this SOS appeal or at other times throughout the year, we take great care of your donations. We know who they are going to and that their need is genuine."

Many members of the public have also dropped off food items at the Bay of Plenty Times office on Cameron Rd and now there are drop-off points in Greerton and Te Puna as well.

Parklands Produce, at 860 State Highway 2, is collecting foodbank donations from Te Puna locals and shoppers passing through.

Owner Arlene Barbeau said she could not bear the thought of people not having or making a hot meal during winter.

Food charity Kai Aroha, which helps feed the homeless in Greerton on Friday evenings, is also helping out.

"We are going to have a box at Kai Aroha every Friday for a month for anyone in the community to donate non-perishable food to foodbank and one of my team will drop it off," director Tania Lewis-Rickard said.

Kai Aroha, which is operating out of Greerton Community Hall over winter, works closely with the foodbank.

"I just feel that once others hear what charity groups like Kai Aroha want to do, other groups and businesses will hopefully jump on board," Lewis-Rickard said.

She said she was also talking with other charity groups about what they can do collectively.

"We're discussing ideas of how we can help with our resources and within our capacity."