More than $2000 and 800 food items have been donated each day during the past week as the Tauranga community digs deep to help ensure everyone has food on the table.
As of yesterday, $37,158.09 and 9006 food items had been donated to the Tauranga Community Foodbank for the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal, in partnership with Gilmours Wholesale Food and Beverage Tauriko.
This compared to $20,595.63 and 3339 food items last Friday.
Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said the foodbank could feel the support from the Tauranga community.
"Lots of wonderful people have been making contact to see what we need and when we need it by," Goodwin said.
"People are just so thoughtful."
She said a number of families with children in tow had come to the foodbank depot yesterday to drop off donations and check out the foodbank.
"It was neat to hear the questions the children ask and it was super cool that they get to see where their food donations end up."
Yesterday, she said the foodbank's "Christmas fairy" volunteers, Gillian and Jenny, set up a table loaded with Christmas treats.
From Monday, they will put these together to include in outgoing food parcels.
The duo will also create hampers to give to families and individuals who had been working with budget services as a special surprise.
"I can't wait to see the excited faces when these are given out."
Getting to know Nicki Goodwin, Tauranga Community Foodbank manager
What was your first job?
My first job was picking and packing feijoas at 15. I definitely knew what I didn't want to do for a job after doing that.
What did you want to do for work as a child?
As a child, I always thought I would be a teacher.
How was your first day on the job as foodbank manager?
It was so scary. I was totally in awe of the volunteers. I had never worked alongside volunteers before and I was quite overwhelmed that all these amazing people worked so hard for nothing. A lot of the volunteers had been at the foodbank for years and I so didn't want to step on any toes, as the new girl. Turns out that they aren't scary at all, just the best bunch of people you could ever have the privilege of working with.
What drew you to the role?
Definitely the fact that it involved helping people. Once I saw the position advertised I became pretty determined that it was the right job for me.
What is the most random item that has been donated, that you know of?
We have some doozies. This week we had some Bic razors donated in the original packaging from the 1980s. I reckon we could have auctioned them on Trade Me as antiques.
What are some of your most memorable moments as a manager?
Absolutely impossible to list these moments. I could fill up a whole newspaper. Every single day the most amazing moments happen here, sometimes it is just the wonderful smiles and sense of relief we get from people who have needed help, sometimes it's seeing our special needs volunteers achieve something new. The list is endless.
What is the best part of being involved in the foodbank?
There are three main things that make this the best place to work: The customers, the volunteers and all the community groups and agencies that we get to connect with.