When lockdown hit - the people needed the Tauranga Community Foodbank more than ever.
And with a team 10 times smaller than usual, they went "above and beyond" to answer that need.
Now foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin is calling for the community to donate what it can this Christmas Appeal to ensure stocks are ready in case a pandemic hits our shores again.
As the community gathered into their bubbles in March this year, the foodbank had to sacrifice more than 50 volunteer staff to stay safe.
Goodwin said a large number of volunteers were older and had been advised to stay home in lockdown. Their normal team of 60 dwindled to six.
The team worked tirelessly every day and did deliveries every weekend, she said.
Meanwhile, in this time demand "changed" with new clientele coming in every day plus helping Red Cross distribute food to those who could not get it for themselves, she said.
This included elderly who did not have family to help them get groceries, she said.
She said it had been "heartwrenching" seeing people come in who had never had to ask for food before but their money and work had just "dried up".
The Tauranga Community Foodbank was also given $12,000 from the Rapid Response Fund in April, allowing them to purchase 1000kg of chicken, 1000kg of sausages and 1000kg of peanut butter and jam.
As alert levels changed, Goodwin said they also saw a large influx of foreign nationals who were stuck in the country with no work and no funds for food through "no fault of their own".
Although it was a difficult time for the team, she said it had been "so fulfilling" and the team had been "so willing to go above and beyond" for the community.
"I'm so pleased we could help."
She said now they were focused on building their stocks again in case Covid-19 "reappeared" or another national emergency came the country's way.
Lockdown had been "polarising" but in a good way, she said, as it showed people that when they needed the foodbank it would always be there.
She said they were "so glad" they had the stock when lockdown was announced and that was made possible by the annual Christmas Appeal.
This year's donations would help them make a "pandemic plan" in case the country was flung into lockdown again, she said.
"It is so vital and so appreciated having the community on board."