Rotorua locals will have their cans at the ready as Fill the Bus rolls into town today.

Each year, people flock from far and wide to donate whatever they can to give back for the Salvation Army's foodbank.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has again donated the use of a bus, which will make its way around the city collecting non-perishable food items over 10 hours.

The bus will hit the streets from 8am, starting at the Redwoods Shopping Centre.

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From there the bus will stop at 20 locations around the city, including public shopping destinations, various schools and businesses.

The Hits announcer Paul Hickey (left), Salvation Army's Kylie Overbye, NZME coordinator Bryce Morris and Rotorua Daily Post appeal coordinator Caroline Fleming. Photo / Stephen Parker
The Hits announcer Paul Hickey (left), Salvation Army's Kylie Overbye, NZME coordinator Bryce Morris and Rotorua Daily Post appeal coordinator Caroline Fleming. Photo / Stephen Parker

The route will wrap up about 6pm and all the goods will be unloaded and counted at the Salvation Army.

All items collected will go towards the Rotorua Daily Post Salvation Army Foodbank Christmas Appeal, which aims to restock the organisation's foodbank in time for Christmas and into 2020.

The drive, which was now in its fifth year, collected 5844 items in last year's run - a record for the event.

This year, the Salvation Army's Barnaby Bear mascot and even the Grinch will be riding the bus.

The Fill the Bus schedule.
The Fill the Bus schedule.

Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said Fill the Bus always "amped up" the appeal because everyone was pleased to get involved.

"It's just a really, really fun day."

She said she was always amazed about how many people got involved, but said it was about the "heart of the giving, not how much".

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The Hits Rotorua host Paul Hickey said this was the fifth year for the Fill The Bus, and "it just gets better every year".

"This is one of the days I really look forward too, there is so much positivity and goodwill in our community and you feel it all right through the day.

The Hits announcer Paul Hickey (left), Salvation Army's Kylie Overbye, NZME coordinator Bryce Morris and Rotorua Daily Post appeal coordinator Caroline Fleming. Photo / Stephen Parker
The Hits announcer Paul Hickey (left), Salvation Army's Kylie Overbye, NZME coordinator Bryce Morris and Rotorua Daily Post appeal coordinator Caroline Fleming. Photo / Stephen Parker

"We've had such a great response again from the business and school communities, that actually putting the schedule together has been pretty tough."

He said the bus had visited eight schools last year, but this year they had to try to get to 12.

"It will be busy, but so worth it."

Hickey will be broadcasting part of his 9am to 3pm show from the bus.

There will be regular updates during the show and on The Hits Rotorua and Rotorua Daily Post Facebook pages.

NZME brand engagement co-ordinator Bryce Morris said it was always great to see the community come together on the day.

"I can't wait to see how full we can get the bus this year."

Fill the Bus through the years

2018: 5844 food items donated

2017: 5357 food items donated

2016: 4298 food items donated

2015: 3564 food items donated