Rotorua grocery shoppers are being encouraged to help Kiwis feed their families and bring hope this Christmas.

The Countdown Food Rescue Christmas Appeal began this week and a Rotorua Countdown kicked off its annual appeal by donating $500 worth of groceries.

Countdown Fenton St store manager John Burns says Countdown are proud to be supporting Rotorua's Salvation Army with a trolley of goods for their annual appeal.

"It feels fantastic. The whole store sees it as being beneficial to the community."

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The public can get involved by donating food in specially marked trolleys in-store, or online through The Foodbank Project. It is running until December 16.

Countdown Fenton St store manager John Burns and Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye with the trolley of goods. Photo / Andrew Warner
Countdown Fenton St store manager John Burns and Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye with the trolley of goods. Photo / Andrew Warner

"It's a great cause to support people who are not as fortunate."

John says Countdown also does a lot of food rescue with the Salvation Army foodbank throughout the year, with the likes of dented cans being collected weekly by the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye says they are grateful to have the support from Countdown.

She says over the Christmas period and into the New Year families are trying to find a way to cope over the Christmas months.

Since some parents are not working with their children on holidays it can be a challenge, and then after the new year there are the expenses of getting children ready to go back to school, she says.

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"It really helps us to support the people who are in need, especially in this time at Christmas.

"What this appeal does is helps us to provide families with food at Christmas time, but also the weeks after Christmas.

"With people not having to be concerned about food we can help them with other areas they need support in."

Kylie says this year the Salvation Army is reaching 17,000 individuals and families nationally, which equates to about 28,000 children.

The items donated during the appeal will be included in the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal tally.

The Rotorua Daily Post appeal is currently running until December 22.

It is in conjunction with the Rotorua Weekender and The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM.