Another Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal record was set at Scope Cafe’s can-for-a-coffee day.
The news comes after this year’s Fill the Bus campaign raised an astonishing $26,882.
Scope Cafe opened on Tuesday morning with the promise of swapping a free coffee for a donation to the Salvation Army Rotorua’s foodbank.
Within a few hours of opening, the cafe had already collected 183 items. By closing time, Salvation Army staff and volunteers counted 408 donations of cans and other non-perishable foods.
The assigned value of each item donated to the foodbank is $2.50, meaning Scope’s Tuesday collection could be valued at $1020.
And Scope Cafe owner Dana Greer said donations are still pouring in and she intends to keep collecting items until Saturday.
“It was the best year we’ve had so far,” Greer said.
“On the day, it went nuts.”
Greer said the cafe had made about 300 free coffees on the day. Many patrons offered to pay for their coffees while also donating but Greer said she couldn’t let them.
“I always say I have the best customers and I really mean it. Our community amazes me everytime.”
Scope Cafe’s can-for-a-coffee day is part of the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal.
Supported by The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM, the appeal runs until December 23 and aims to collect donations of food and money to help fill the foodbank’s shelves and assist the Salvation Army with its work through the Christmas period and into 2024.
In 2022, the appeal raised $76,500 worth of donations as the soaring cost of living forced some people out of their homes and pushed others to their financial limits.
This year, the appeal hopes to raise even more, lending a hand to those turning to the foodbank for help, including people with jobs and mortgages struggling to feed their families.
Scope Cafe customer Mary, who did not give her last name, said she loved supporting local charities.
“To get a free coffee as well is an absolute bonus,” Mary said.
“I do believe there’s a real need in Rotorua at the moment. A lot of people are struggling.”
Another customer who preferred to stay anonymous said “every little bit helps”.
“There are some desperate people out there. Just a little bit of help can help them get through Christmas and New Year’s without the stress.”
Scope will confirm its final donation count on Saturday.
Maryana Garcia is a regional reporter writing for the Rotorua Daily Post and the Bay of Plenty Times. She covers local issues, health and crime.