Cash or can?
People can take their pick on how they would like to support the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal as the Tauranga Te Papa Rotary Club begins its collection drive today.
Lyn Voyde, community services committee member at the Tauranga Te Papa Lions club, called on people to "do what you can" for the Cash or Can collection.
"If all you can manage to put into the box is a 70 cent can of spaghetti, please do so," she said.
"I find a lot of the kindest givers are the people who have used the foodbank."
Voyde said the club was "very community minded" and embraced being involved in the collection, as part of the appeal in partnership with Gilmours Wholesale Food and Beverage Tauriko.
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She said a large proportion of people would have a "fabulous" Christmas but there were many who were not so lucky.
The foodbank was helping an increasing number of children whose families were being affected by the increasing cost of living.
"We are very aware of the children we help, especially at Christmas."
She said there was also a large number of grandparents who were caring for their grandchildren who sought foodbank support.
"How are they going to manage on a pension?"
Voyde was also a Tauranga Community Foodbank board member, meaning she is able to provide information on the difference that the club made.
"The club can see the worth of what we are doing."
Voyde previously lived in Auckland and did similar collections for the Auckland City Mission.
She said people tended to be keen to help with the appeal.
"People want to do something nice for other people at Christmas time. It's a very human thing," she said.
The opportunity to give food in addition to cash donations helped people support the foodbank in a way that suited them best.
"The first thing people say when they pass you when they go into the supermarket is 'I haven't got any money' and we say, 'that's not a problem. Just put an extra item in your basket and drop it in the box on your way out'."
She said the club also did a mid-year collection because foodbank supplies could run low during this period.
"People need food during the winter because it's cold.
"Cash is always really handy as there are always things the food bank runs out of during the year."
Tauranga Te Papa Rotary Club - Cash or Can collection
November 23, November 24, November 30 and December 1
Fraser Cove Countdown between the hours of 10am and 6pm