When sirens make their way down the road, many think the worst. However, for one day a year in Ngongotāha, it means quite the opposite.
Every year, the Ngongotāha Volunteer Fire Brigade gets behind the Salvation Army to do its own foodbank collection.
As the sirens sound slowly through the streets, the residents flock from their homes to donate their non-perishable food items.
This year's collection took place last Monday night with a total of 1498 items donated at an estimated value of close to $3000.
Ngongotāha Volunteer Fire Brigade station officer Paul Osborne said the event had been a "great success" especially considering the weather.
Last Monday's weather had seen heavy downpours throughout the afternoon.
Osborne said the collection had been one of the best yet and with so many volunteers, they were able to get to every street in Ngongotāha.
He said it was always cool seeing the children waving on the side of the road as they wait for the collectors to pull up.
It was also sweet seeing them run down the road, beaming with their cans, to catch the collectors, he said.
A highlight every year was the busload of school leavers from Australia who come over to do their bit.
Having a bunch of young and dedicated people helping out was heartening and made the collection a lot "easier", he said.
Osborne said the can drive was a lot of fun and a great way for the brigade to get out in the community.
Most importantly, helping the Salvation Army was vital at this time of year, he said.
The community got right behind the cause and each year "more and more" were getting involved, he said.
Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said the donations were "gratefully received".
She said the Ngongotāha community and the team of "schoolies" from Australia were awesome for doing the collection on their behalf.