Jenny Cairns has been volunteering at the Salvation Army for seven years.

In that time, she's helped the charity help thousands of families.

Lately she's been working in the Rotorua foodbank sorting groceries and packing bags.

Sometimes when individuals or families receive a food parcel Cairns helps carry it out to them.


"We don't say a lot but they are always grateful and I tell them 'I'm glad we can help'."

Cairns became a volunteer when she joined the Salvation Army Church and met a fellow volunteer several years ago.

"She told me to come along and I did. I've enjoyed it, we've had lots of fun."

Cairns said she knew what it was like to be in need and that made giving back rewarding.

"I know what it's like. I've been on a benefit, I was a widow with three kids. I remember not being paid once and I was frantic. I didn't have enough to buy a loaf of bread.

"I've been through it and come through it and people can move on from that."

She said she would encourage others to volunteer so they could do a good thing for others and give back.

"It's helping people get ahead. Being able to help and know it's going to a good cause."


Cairns volunteers one afternoon a week at the foodbank.

The Rotorua Salvation Army foodbank is the recipient of the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal.

The appeal was launched on November 10 and runs until December 22.

Run in conjunction with the Rotorua Weekender and The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM the appeal collects non-perishable food donations to help the foodbank continue its good work throughout the Christmas period and into 2019.

The food donated through the appeal goes towards creating Christmas hampers for those in need. Any money donated is used to buy more food.

Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said they were starting to see the appeal gain momentum and expected that to ramp up now December had come.

"People are taking time out of their day to pop in, and just drop off food. It's really heartwarming and that speaks volumes to me."

There are about seven regular foodbank volunteers.