Nearly 1000 donated food items have stacked up so far in the Rotorua Daily Post annual Christmas Appeal.
In addition to a pile of uncounted food items at the Salvation Army, the Mamaku Fire Brigade has collected 681 cans from the local community during a food drive, corps officer Kylie Overbye said.
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"The Mamaku community is so supportive. They all rallied around and had a great time. I think the community looks forward to the food drive because it brings people together."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick also turned out to help with the collection.
Overbye said the appeal was off to a great start this year.
"It's definitely quicker off the mark this year compared to last. We're right on track this year. It's awesome and it's exciting," she said.
"I love this time of year because you really notice the community coming together, and that's just the coolest part.
"Lots of people are putting their thinking caps on to come up with ways to help those who are most in need."
Mamaku Fire Brigade volunteer Kirstin Johnston said she had participated in the food drive a number of times in her 16 years at the brigade.
"We're only a small community so it's pretty impressive to get 681 cans," she said.
"There's little 4-year-old boys coming out and giving big bags of food. The look on their face is priceless."
"The big red fire truck probably helps, too," she said.
"The community deserves a big thanks for getting out there and helping."