Fill the Boot 2018 has hit the streets of Tauranga this morning.

The Bay of Plenty Times and The Hits are using branded cars to travel throughout Tauranga to collect food for the Tauranga Community Foodbank today.

The pubic is encouraged to donate what they can if they see the branded cars around town.

Kiri Gillespie from the Bay of Plenty Times said it had been amazing seeing the generosity of the community.

"It's really uplifting and I'm proud to have been a part of it."

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The team have just dropped a load off at the foodbank and are now at the Holistic Vets.

Earlier, a few streets over from the beach, the Mount Maunganui Runners and Walkers offered their collection of all sorts.

Member Dawn Picken said the club was a big group with 200 to 300 people.

"So when we put the call out for donations, we amassed a lot of food within a couple of days".

Among the haul were drinks, pasta mixes, crackers and tinned goods.

"People know the need is great. Word has got out that there's a need in the community and it is getting harder and harder for families to put food on the table.

"We want to be able to help with that. Not just with beans and other tinned things but fun stuff too," she said.

Higgins contractors in Mount Maunganui have already donated a swag of sweet and chocolate goodies to offer Tauranga Community Foodbank recipients something different this Christmas.

Mount Runners and Walkers Club Gloria Nicol, Dawn Picken and Fiona Stanelun.
Mount Runners and Walkers Club Gloria Nicol, Dawn Picken and Fiona Stanelun.

Higgins branch manager Mike Haden said a staff member came to him quite concerned about underprivileged kids around the area and wanted to do something and focus it on Christmas treats.

The team from Bay of Plenty Times and The Hits want to Fill the Boot today! Photo / Kiri Gillespie
The team from Bay of Plenty Times and The Hits want to Fill the Boot today! Photo / Kiri Gillespie

"So that's pretty much why the goodies are sugary, chocolately, and sweet. It's something the kids might not normally get around Christmas."

The Bay of Plenty Times' Kiri Gillespie and Sonya Bateson are out and about collecting for the Tauranga Community Foodbank.
The Bay of Plenty Times' Kiri Gillespie and Sonya Bateson are out and about collecting for the Tauranga Community Foodbank.

NZME brand engagement and partnership manager Kat Hicks said the Fill the Boot campaign was all about getting as many non-perishable food items as possible for the foodbank "to help as many people as we can for Christmas".

The campaign is part of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal which kicked off on November 10 this year and has run every year since 2011.

More to come.