Canned fish, fresh fruit, Weetbix.

These staple food items - which many of us have stacked in our pantry or fridge - are the vital goods that make up a Tauranga Community Foodbank food parcel and given out to our city's most vulnerable.

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The Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal, in partnership with Gilmours Wholesale Food and Beverage Tauriko, is calling on the Tauranga community to step up and donate to the food bank - especially the items the food bank lists on its wish list.

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Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said one of the volunteers was a retired dietician and helped create meal plans.

"We also include a list of meal suggestions to go along with the food parcel as we are very aware that we are doing someone's groceries for them and it may be food that they would not normally buy or cook."

All fruit and vegetables were donated, either from Arataki Community Gardens, Good Neighbour or members of the community who dropped off fresh produce.

The food bank had focused on increasing the amount of protein in meals and ensuring food parcels could be created to produce well-rounded meals, while also considering the cost.

This food parcel is designed to provide meals for a family of four over three days. Photo / Supplied
This food parcel is designed to provide meals for a family of four over three days. Photo / Supplied

Canned fish was always a coveted item as it was a versatile way to get protein into a meal.

"It goes with pasta, rice, salads and can be made into fishcakes."

The food bank was looking at other protein sources, such as peanut butter, to also bolster the protein in a meal.

Some parcels included donated items, such as chocolates and pasta sauce, as a special treat.

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She said any "quirky" goods were put in reception for people to select from. Requests for unusual foods like sauerkraut occasionally popped up, and the food bank was sometimes donated fancy foods like "really expensive" patés that went down a treat.

She said the Foodbank could provide parcels that catered for special dietary requirements, such a vegetarian or gluten-free parcels.

"All people have to do is let us know."


Tauranga Community Foodbank wish list
Canned tuna and salmon
Canned vegetables
Baking supplies such as baking powder, icing sugar, cocoa
Sauces and dressings
Jellies and puddings
Cake mixes
Pasta or rice
Personal care items, women's sanitary items, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors
Baby nappies - larger sizes
Christmas treats such as mince pies, Christmas puddings
Pet food