Supported by The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM, the appeal runs until December 23 and aims to collect donations of food and money to help fill the foodbank’s shelves and assist the Salvation Army with its work through the Christmas period and into 2024.
So far this year, the appeal has raised more than $67,000. Of that figure, $1500 came from the Mamaku community thanks to the local fire brigade’s annual Christmas appeal event last week.
Last Friday, Mamaku’s Fire Brigade added their support to the appeal, switching on their lights and sirens in honour of the foodbank for their annual donation drive.
Volunteers from the fire brigade and the Salvation Army Rotorua gave up their evenings to walk the streets of Mamaku alongside the fire engines, calling for donations.
And they weren’t disappointed.
By the night’s end, they had collected 594 food items and $77 in cash donations. Mamaku’s generous contribution on the night added up to a total of $1562.
In 2022, the fire brigade collected 506 canned and non-canned food items.
Mamaku Fire Brigade station officer Kirstin Johnston said the can drive was a “great night”.
“To beat the rain this year we chose to do it on a Friday,” Johnston said.
“The crew love getting out and seeing the locals and the kids love the siren of course.”
The results, Johnston said, were all down to the generosity of the Mamaku community.
“Mamaku did what Mamaku does well: give to the wider community and those in need.”
Johnston said the fire brigade was happy with the results.
“We as the local crew think [the foodbank] is a great cause.”
The news comes as the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal reaches $67,416 raised.
In 2022, the appeal raised $76,500 worth of donations as the soaring cost of living forced some people out of their homes and pushed others to their financial limits.
This year, the appeal hopes to raise even more, lending a hand to those turning to the foodbank for help, including people with jobs and mortgages struggling to feed their families.