Last year was the first year Papamoa Pines Medical Centres took part in the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Foodbank Appeal.

The response from staff and patients was overwhelming and a large supermarket trolley was overflowing with donations come pick-up day.

One moment, in particular, brought a tear to the eye of Jo McILwaine, Papamoa Pines' reception and accounts manager.

"One of our patients that came in for an appointment one morning ... saw the trolley in reception – he went away and an hour later came back with bags full of groceries from the supermarket. There must have been over $150 worth of stuff. That really touched a lot of heartstrings among the staff."


McILwaine is one of those driving this year's effort and said the main focus is to give back to the community in some small way.

"Even the smallest things can help at this time of year".

Dr Symon Roberton, director of Papamoa Pines Medical Centres, said times are tough for some people and so it is a matter of people giving what they feel they can.

"... the fact of giving and showing that compassion is what we are after," he said.

"Our motivation is compassion. We also want all our patients to have that opportunity as well. Showing compassion is what makes us better people and the evidence is that we are happier and healthier for doing so."

Roberton said while this is only the second year Papamoa Pines is taking part in the foodbank appeal, it seems to becoming a tradition at the centres.

"Last year we had a great response from everyone. It is really heartening to see patients who give so much and our staff got right in behind it.

"As long as it remains well supported we will keep doing it."


Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said it is "really reassuring" to hear that Papamoa Pines is supporting the Tauranga Community Foodbank again this year.

"They obviously put a lot of effort into collecting such a lot of food and knowing that they are making this a regular yearly event is just awesome."

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. 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.