Thousands of food items have been donated for the 12-hour Fill the Bus food drive, just beating last year's efforts.

The Hits Rotorua Fill the Bus drive took place yesterday. A big green bus, donated by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Reesby's, made more than 20 stops over the course of the day.

Rotorua Daily Post Salvation Army Christmas Appeal Fill the Bus day.

Last year the bus collected 5357 food items and 1126 toys. This year, the efforts have been topped - with 5844 items donated.

Each of the items are valued at $2, so $10,852 of food was donated.

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The Hits Rotorua presenter Paul Hickey said the day was "tiring but inspiring".

"Just everybody being so generous, it's such a positive vibe."

Hickey said there was a huge crew at the Salvation Army helping to count the donations and it was hard to tell how much had been donated throughout the day.

"We're already talking about next year. It will be the fifth year so we're thinking of ways to make it better."

While the Fill the Bus day was the big donation day for the appeal Hickey said they would continue to support it.

"We encourage those that couldn't come see us on the day to come and donate."

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Salvation Army corps officer Ralph Overbye said when he found out about the total he was "extremely pleased".

"There are a lot of people we'd like to thank including The Hits, the Daily Post, the public and all the people that donated.

"We had an amazing team of volunteers who helped us during the day and last night. They did an amazing job."

All items collected will go towards the Rotorua Daily Post Salvation Army Foodbank Christmas Appeal, which aims to restock the organisation's foodbank in time for Christmas and 2019.

Fill the Bus through the years
2018: 5844 food items donated
2017: 5357 food items donated
2016: 4298 food items donated
2015: 3564 food items donated