From the Christmas-red masking tape used to make up the boxes, to the team breaking down the boxes the food came in, Palmy's Christmas Box packing day was a slick operation.
It was the second year Vision Church had partnered with Christmas Box, which provides food essentials and Christmas treats for families in need.
Fifty volunteers in the morning and another 50 in the afternoon worked on getting the boxes packed and distributed with the Tremaine Ave church resembling Santa's elves hard at work.
By the end of Saturday, about 1750 boxes each worth $70 retail had gone to community service groups, Palmerston North and Feilding police, and churches to be distributed. Some were going as far as Wainuiomata, Flaxmere and Masterton.
Forty-eight pallets of food arrived the day before packing day, Christmas Box regional co-ordinator Jayden Bay said. The non-perishable items included flour, sugar, tea, coffee, Weet-Bix, Marmite, chocolates, potato chips, biscuits, and baked beans.
He said some people are making so little go so far they found it helpful to receive staples.
Each volunteer on the packing line had one item they put in each box. "There's enough people that you just stand there and it works like a great big puzzle," Bay said.
Members of Vision Church, Arise Church and Manawatū Jets players helped pack the boxes.
Vision Church sponsored some of the boxes and arranged business sponsors for the rest.
Each box is packaged to look like a Christmas present and contains about 24 items weighing 12-13kg.
Bay delivered a number of boxes last year and was blown away not only by the need in our communities but also by how surprised people were to receive a no-strings-attached gift at Christmas.
To watch a short video explaining what Christmas Box is about click here.
+ INFO To donate to Christmas Box, visit christmasbox.co.nz.