The community-orientated staff at Sport Bay of Plenty are used to helping people of all ages lead healthy and active lives.

So it is no surprise non-perishable food items are overflowing out of two massive collection boxes sitting in the organisation's staff room.

Staff members have been bringing in items including cereals, canned corn, jellies, spreads and even Christmas treats like biscuits and chocolates which will be donated to the Tauranga Community Foodbank.

Sport Bay of Plenty active families advisor Lena Kairau said donating to the foodbank was important, especially leading up to the festive period.


"It is a really challenging time of year for some families," she said.

In her role, Kairau said she saw firsthand the families that benefited from help from organisations such as the foodbank.

"I work with children 4 to 18 whose families link in with the foodbank and see where that food actually goes."

Kairau said the number of families needing help was increasing every year for a number of reasons.

She said changes in family dynamics was a common issue where a family may move to Tauranga from another region, leaving behind grandparents or other whānau who would normally help out.

Kairau said losing that "backup" of the family meant gaps were sometimes created.

A parent losing a job, or having to move into a new rental was also a common thread of why more families needed help, she said.

Kairau said her fellow staff members had been "awesome" at getting involved and the feedback from everyone had been great.


She said it was the perfect opportunity for the organisation to live out its values and give back to the community they worked so closely with.

Sport Bay of Plenty Foodbank Poem:
It's that time of year, where we spread some good cheer
By getting in the mood to donate canned food!
Bring baked beans and spaghetti, non-perishables at the ready
Frozen goods and lollies are on the list too
'One Team' I say….G'mon…..'Lead the Way'
Drop off your goods in the kitchen and let's make someone's day!!!