Hastings resident Graham Phillips knows "there are bad people in the world" - they burgled him six times - but he didn't realise there were so many good people out there too.

Phillips is 77, suffers from kidney failure and has breathing trouble.

Earlier this week he told Hawke's Bay Today of how burglars have targeted his home repeatedly while he has been hospitalised throughout the year.

He said a break-in on June 28, in which thieves took all but a few salad leaves from his fridge, had the biggest impact.

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It had an impact on not just him, but the community as well.

The Hawke's Bay community has rallied over the past few days buy him food and fill his pantry, and they did such a good job of it that Phillips was lost for words.

"I am overwhelmed, I can't thank the community enough.

"I am never lost for words but I am lost for words."

An emotional Phillips said he now had so much food, he'd have to get himself a new pantry.

"I have everything that I need here. I even got a voucher for New World. That's great because I really like their apple strudels."

On previous break-ins burglars stole his laptop, his electrical tools, his phone, and his tablet, which he can't afford to buy back.

Phillips said he'd done everything he could, including reporting the incidents to the police, and didn't understand why his rental was so frequently targeted.

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Police had installed security lights and latches, and helped change the locks on the property, to no avail.

"I think I know how they were breaking in, and the landlord has sorted the issue," he said.

Because of the break-ins his friends of Phillips have submitted an application for him for a council flat and they are waiting to hear back.