The community is being encouraged to pull together and help those struggling with the cost of staying warm and keeping bellies full this winter.

The 2018 Mokoia Community Association and Partners Food Drive is on until the end of July, calling for donations of non-perishable food items.

Mel Ralph, Mokoia Community Association community projects administrator, says the annual food drive started at the beginning of June.

It has run for three years, alongside the Share the Warmth campaign, which is also running over the winter months.

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The association's partners in the food drive include a number of local early childhood centres and medical centres.

Mel says it is cool getting the early childhood centres involved because the children think it is so neat.

"The aim of the project is to help those needing extra support across the winter months.

"In previous years the generosity of those able to help has been huge."

She says they are thankful to those taking part.

"If everyone can do a little bit it builds up a resource and we can help more people."

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Mel says the food drive fits in well with their Share the Warmth campaign, which calls for clean bedding, linen and warm blankets.

"It's about helping those doing it a bit tough at the moment, and if we can help to reduce the stresses by helping with food and blankets then people can concentrate on things like paying the power bill."

Ohana Kindergarten manager Frizzie Gampuka says it is great for the kindergarten to support families in need.

"Because we live in the area we know there is a lot of need in the community."

Food Drive Drop-Offs
- Owhata Medical Centre
- Te Ngae Medical Centre
- ABC Rotorua East
- Central Kids Kindergarten Rotorua East
- Kiwi Educare
- Ohana Kindergarten
- TopKids Lynmore
- Tiaki Early Learning Centre
- Mokoia Community Association