• Schools, retirement villages and organisations have been busy collecting cans preparing for Fill the Bus for the Salvation Army to do its sixth lap of the city.
• All items collected will go towards the Rotorua Daily Post Salvation Army Foodbank Christmas Appeal
• Check schedule below and find out when the bus is near you.
6.30pm: A massive crew of volunteers have turned out to help unload the bus.
Volunteers from different organisations including Oranga Tamariki have come down to provide help.
Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said it was looking like there were donations more than they'd ever had before and they were running out of boxes.
Overbye said the teams are working hard to count, sort and package all the donations.
She said she was so pleased that the community had shown up to help as well as donated as the small church and would not have been able to do it on its own.
It's gonna be a late night counting, she said.
"It's just absolutely outstanding."
3.43pm: A generous Rotorua community member today purchased a $1000 Pak'nSave gift voucher, asking staff to give it to the Salvation Army when the bus rolled in this afternoon.
The donation was among many others from the supermarket.
3.30pm: Staff at Holland Beckett Law came out with boxes of donated goods to do their bit to Fill the Bus.
Staff member Danielle Weston said they were "so glad" to be able to support such an amazing cause.
A team meeting was organised to talk about rallying together donations for Fill the Bus and the entire workplace had got right behind them, she said.
"We are just thrilled to be able to give back in what has been such a difficult year for so many."
3pm: Louise Sherman from First Credit Union organised for her team and clients to give what they can to help Fill the Bus.
Sherman said this was the third year she had organised the collection and was thrilled with the haul of donations.
"I love it. It's so important for the community."
She said anything to help the community was rewarding and she had loved seeing clients come in and give what they could.
"Those that don't have a lot still give so much."
The bus has had to make a stop to unload goods before heading back out to schools and businesses this afternoon. The bus was close to bursting at the seams!
The team at Event Promotions have donated pallets of food and sports drink to help Fill the Bus.
More than 2500 goods are set to be donated to the Salvation Army, all product left over from sponsors from the year as a result of all the cancelled events.
Murray Fleming says it was good to be able to donate to such a worthy cause and the sponsors had all requested that their goods were donated.
Bags and bags of food have been donated by the team at Rotorua forest haulage.
Amanda Dorrell and Casey Sargison put a note out in their newsletter and had a huge response.
"Everyone was really really generous. It's a good time to get behind the community," Dorrell said.
She said people had brought in huge amounts of goods including toiletries and cleaning products.
"It's been a rough year for everyone."
Alright team, don't forget to head down to some of the public drop off points after 3.30pm and make your donation to this wonderful and important cause.
Westbrook School has chipped in with one of the biggest hauls yet.
There are bags overflowing with food and trays and trays of cans. Principal Colin Watkins said it was typical of the Westbrook community to get behind the cause.
"We get involved in Fill the Bus every year. It was tempting not to because life has gotten really busy but we reflected and this has been a really tough year on a lot of people.
"We discovered we needed to help a lot of our families who are in crisis as a school.
"When this came around it was a really good opportunity to help others. Our community has come to the party as usual, we have a lot of food and I'm not surprised. This is a giving community and when we ask them to put their hands up they put their hands up."
Ralph Overbye from the Salvation Army has an update for us.
10.20am: The bus is filling up, the latest school to contribute is Malfroy School.
Teacher Dolly Boynton said it was a fun day for the children but also an opportunity for them to learn about helping those less fortunate.
"We've got a lot of families here who would rely on this foodbank.
"We've been supporting Fill the Bus since it started. The kids know it's to support families who might not have a very good Christmas.
"We do talk about it and what they bring in supports those people. It's good for the community."
10am: The bus is continuing its visits to schools and businesses around Rotorua. The next stop for the public to donate is Pak'nSave at 3.30pm.
9.41am: Glenholme School pupil Layne Murray, 11, said the school had filled up three trolleys of cans and had delivered them on to the bus.
She wanted to thank everyone at Glenholme who had participated in Fill the Bus.
Deputy principal Molly Norton said the school was passionate about supporting the Salvation Army.
"It's just fantastic. We were having a disco anyway so we got all the kids to bring a can along for donation.
"It's great for the kids to be involved with something like this, it gives them a sense of community and giving back to our community.
"Everyone is going through hard times, especially this year, but every year it's important to get behind this."
Best Start teacher Vanessa Fisher said Fill the Bus was an opportunity to teach the kids about the gift of giving.
"We just like to get involved with our community and give back to the community as much as we can.
"It's really exciting for the kids, we've done it a few times before and they love it. Our whānau are so responsive as well, they like to give. There's a real community focus at our centre."
9.05am: Rotorua Primary School pupils have set the standard for the day with an impressive haul of donations.
Principal Fred Whata said Fill the Bus was an opportunity to give back to the community.
"It's absolutely brilliant. It gives us a chance to pay it forward and give to others who are in need in our community.
"This year should be about that but every year and this is a small token of our appreciation for the community."
The bus has arrived at the first school stop of the day, Rotorua Primary School, where the Grinch is the star of the show.
8.20am: The bus has arrived at Countdown Fenton St. It will be here for public donations until 8.40am before heading to the first of the school visits.
7.55am: The second donation of the day came from Marion Andrews who said she liked to help others when she could.
"I used to help with the food rescue and I just feel like I have all I need and I see all these people who haven't.
"I do it for them but it makes me feel like part of the community too."
The bus has arrived at the Redwoods Shopping Centre where it will collect donations until 8.10am.
Salvation Army corps officer Ralph Overbye said this is a day the team looks forward to every year.
"Come on down and be part of the festivities," he said.
"Enjoy the gift of giving and being part of the community. It'll be great to see you."
The bus, ready to be filled with donated non-perishable food items throughout the day.
7.14am: We have our first donations of the day!
John Paul College students Harmony and Jay Ward, both 12, saw the bus parked up at St Andrews and brought some cans down before school.
7am: Fill the Bus is under way!
The bus is at the St Andrews shops for members of the public to donate. It will be here until 7.30am before heading to Redwoods Shopping Centre.
The Hits producer Paul Hickey encouraged members of the Rotorua community to get behind the cause.
"Even if it's just one can, every little bit will help make Christmas more special for families in need."
Today is the big day Rotorua!
Schools and organisations have been busy collecting cans preparing for The Hits Fill the Bus for the Salvation Army to do its sixth lap of the city.
Boxes of cans and treats will be sitting at the ready this morning awaiting the moment the green CityRide bus rolls into their stop.
There are a record 15 schools included on the route this year, up from 12 in 2019.
All items collected will go towards the Rotorua Daily Post Salvation Army Foodbank Christmas Appeal, with the aim of giving out 200 food parcels to whānau in need this Christmas.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Ritchies have again donated the use of a bus, which will make its way around the city collecting non-perishable food items over 10 hours.
The bus will hit the streets from 7am, starting at the St Andrews Shops.
From there the bus will stop at 26 locations around the city, including public shopping destinations, various schools and businesses.
The route will wrap up about 6pm and all the goods will be unloaded and counted at the Salvation Army.
Last year's Fill the Bus broke the record for the largest haul of donations ever received, with a whopping 7166 items donated worth about $14,332.