Today the first of many end-of-year collections for the Tauranga Community Foodbank begins.

Members of the Tauranga Te Papa Rotary Club will be collecting cash or cans while at Bureta Countdown. Their efforts come as Bay of Plenty Times launches its Christmas Appeal this weekend and will be included as part of the appeal.

Club member Neil Percival said the Rotary Club will be at the supermarket from 10am to 6pm, and doing the same again at Countdown in Bethlehem in two weeks' time.

"Most of us in society don't realise how desperate some people are. Particularly when it's food. There's a terrible problem out there."


Percival would know. He's spent that past two to three years on the board of the foodbank and has just this week stepped down from the role.

"There's something particularly rewarding about helping in society."

Percival said the Rotary Club had always had a close affinity with the Tauranga Community Foodbank.

"We always support local charities and we decided to focus on the foodbank, especially coming up to Christmas. The Rotary Club generally has a close association with the foodbank in Tauranga.

The idea of doing a cash or cans collection "was a new one for us" but Percival hoped people without cash would be happy to donate one or two food items.

How to apply for a food parcel?

You will need to visit one of the Tauranga Community Foodbank's approved referral agencies to obtain a "food parcel referral". Just take along some form of ID and they will be able to get things sorted for you. They will give the foodbank a call so that they know you will be visiting for some help. That way the team at the foodbank can have everything ready when you arrive.

Referral agencies include:


Tauranga Budget Advice – 17th Avenue (Historic Village)
Salvation Army – Cameron Rd, Tauranga
Papamoa Family Services – 35 Hartford Ave, Papamoa
Hillier Centre – Gloucester Rd, Mt Maunganui
St Peters Church – Cameron Rd, Tauranga
Welcome Bay Community Centre – Welcome Bay Rd, Tauranga
Merivale Community Centre – Fraser St, Tauranga
St Vincent de Paul Support Centre – 16th Ave, Tauranga
Te Tuinga Whanau – Chadwick Rd, Tauranga