By Jean Bell
The Tauranga community have reached into their pockets and pulled out more than $10,000 donations in just the first two weeks of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal.
The appeal, in partnership with Gilmours Wholesale Food and Beverage Tauriko, has attracted $11,555 in cash donations and 11,290 items of food so far.
This does not count the food people have dropped off at libraries, which was yet to be collected.
To celebrate coming on as a partner in the Appeal, Gilmours also donated $1000.
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Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said the foodbank was "delighted" the appeal was off to a cracking start after the November 9 launch.
"We're a lot better off than we were two weeks ago," she said. "There's so much interest from individuals and groups in the community who want to give food and money. We're also getting a lot of interest in volunteering."
She said the volunteers enjoyed the pre-Christmas rush, where there was a "good buzz in the air".
She said the foodbank was receiving many items on its wish list, but encouraged people to give whatever staple, non-perishable food items they could.
"Just because it's not on our wish list, doesn't mean we don't want it," she said.
Tauranga Community Foodbank wish list
Canned tuna and salmon
Baking supplies such as baking powder, icing sugar, cocoa
Sauces and dressings
Jellies and puddings
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