A global pandemic and nationwide lockdown have barely made a dent in the kindness and generosity of the Rotorua community.
Today marks the halfway point of the six-week Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal for the Salvation Army Foodbank and already the community has united to gather almost $3500 worth of donated non-perishable food items and gifts.
On top of that, 20 monetary donations totalling $4285 have been received.
Rotorua Salvation Army corps officer Ralph Overbye said, after what had been a challenging year for many, it was encouraging to see so many people enthusiastic about supporting the appeal.
"Even though things are a bit tighter, people are really keen to do something and share in the joy of giving at Christmas time," he said.
"People and organisations are getting really creative with the ways they collect and donate. We had some John Paul College youths come in and help pack boxes. It's great for us all to remember how nice it is to give."
One of those organisations was Rotorua Community Hospice, another charitable organisation, which Overbye said was a great example of different parts of the community supporting each other.
"That does reflect the community we have, we support each other, that's what community is."
The goal for this year's appeal is to give 200 food parcels to whānau in need this Christmas and Overbye was confident that target would be met.
"We're definitely on track and confident that we can give out 200 food parcels. A lot of it comes in the second half of the appeal too.
"The community is so generous, they always give over and above what is required, so there's no reason to think the target won't be met."
On Monday from 6pm, the annual Ngongotahā food drive for the appeal, run by the Salvation Army and the Ngongotahā Volunteer Fire Brigade, is on again.
Those in Ngongotahā are encouraged to keep an eye out for the flashing lights and listen for sirens if they want to get involved and donate to the appeal.
The next big event on the Christmas Appeal schedule is Fill the Bus, organised by The Hits presenter Paul Hickey, on Wednesday, December 2.
Despite a tough year for many, schools and businesses have come forward in droves to be involved as the bus travels around Rotorua collecting non-perishables from the public.
Last year's Fill the Bus event broke the record for the largest haul of donations ever received, with a whopping 7166 items donated worth about $14,332.
The Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal for the Salvation Army Foodbank is done with support from the Rotorua Weekender and The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM. It runs until December 19.
During the appeal, the team will be seeking non-perishable food donations to help the foodbank continue its work throughout the Christmas period and into 2021.
In 2019, the foodbank gave out 446 food parcels to people in need.
The number distributed so far this year is already more than double that at 1062.