The wheels on a bus will go round and round the city next month, with the hope that food donations will end up filling it for the Rotorua Salvation Army foodbank.
The Rotorua Daily Post, with the Rotorua Weekender and The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM, has launched its annual Christmas appeal to raise food and money for the foodbank.
As part of the appeal, The Hits Fill the Bus is being held for the seventh year on December 7.
The Hits Rotorua presenter Paul Hickey said Fill the Bus was a one-day appeal to support the Salvation Army Foodbank.
"We spend 10 hours on the roads all over Rotorua visiting schools, businesses and shopping centres, and slowly but surely watch the bus get filled up thanks to the generosity of lots of locals."
He encouraged people to get involved because it was such a great cause.
"The work that Kylie [Overbye], Ralph [Overbye] and the entire team at Salvation Army undertake year-round is essential, and at this time of the year plays an even bigger role in the wellbeing of our city."
He said they had a lot of schools involved again, so he encouraged caregivers and teachers to work with their kids to explain the importance, and to help their school appeal.
"Or if you can organise a business or workplace collection, let us know early so we can include you on our pick-up list, or keep an eye out for our final day-long itinerary for when you can catch us at suburban shopping centres or supermarket locations."
In last year's Fill the Bus event, the Rotorua community got behind the cause and donated 9,376 items worth $18,752.
When asked what he enjoyed about the event each year, Hickey said seeing so many parts of the community coming together for a common cause, especially the kids.
"Seeing the pride on their faces as they make a donation, and then the look of amazement when they can see how full the bus is."
Covid protection measures will be in place on the day (depending on levels).
Cityride, in association with transport company Ritchie's, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Rotorua Daily Post, support the event.
People can listen for updates all day on The Hits and watch on The Hits Rotorua and Rotorua Daily Post's Facebook page.
From now until December 18, the Rotorua Daily Post team will be seeking non-perishable food donations to help the Salvation Army Foodbank continue its work throughout the Christmas period and into next year.
For many Kiwis, Christmas is a time of celebration and indulgence as whānau come together to spread joy with one another.
However, there are many others for whom the festive season is a time of worry and stress. On top of struggling to make ends meet, they feel the pressure to cover costs and try to make it a special time for their loved ones.
The appeal allows the community to come together with the Salvation Army to ensure they can continue to lend a helping hand to those in need.