More than $10,000 has been donated to the Tauranga Community Foodbank in just five working days, the same amount it took to raise in two weeks last year.
The Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal, in partnership with Gilmours Wholesale Food and Beverage Tauriko, received $10,545 in cash donations and 599 food items as of lunchtime yesterday.
This was just food dropped off at the foodbank, not counting the food people have started dropping off at libraries, businesses, workplaces, and schools around the community, which are yet to be collected.
Last year, the appeal hit the $10,000 mark after two weeks, and manager Nicki Goodwin believed the generosity this year came as the pandemic highlighted the need for food in the community.
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She said the donations were a promising start towards the need for at least $120,000 for food alone in the coming year.
So far this year, about $120,000 has been spent on staple food items such as meat, eggs, milk, bread and canned food, which was about 30 per cent more than last year's $92,000.
Goodwin said as well as the shift in new clients they've seen needing the foodbank's support, they have also seen "lots of new faces, lots of new names" stepping up with donations.
Some of their usual suspects who had been donating for years at this time of the year were back too, which she said was nice to know they were continuing their support.
"People are taking notice of what's going on out there, and people are being really generous."
While the pandemic put many more people into a position where they needed the foodbank, it also highlighted the need for food in the community.
The community was more aware of the hardships and also more aware of the care that was taken by the team at the foodbank.