Every year, the generosity of the Rotorua community comes to the fore during the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal for the Salvation Army Foodbank.
The stage of the appeal when that generosity is most evident is during The Hits Fill the Bus and on Wednesday the popular event returns.
A collaboration between The Hits Rotorua, the Rotorua Daily Post and the Salvation Army, it takes place on Wednesday from 7am to 6pm.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Ritchies have donated the use of a bus, which will make its way around the city collecting non-perishable food items over the 11 hours.
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.
The Hits presenter Paul Hickey, who did the majority of the organising of the event, said it was something he looked forward to every year.
"I'm very excited, it is one of the really fun things each year," he said.
"There are two sides to it. There's the giving and the receiving. The people we see all day from the school kids and the workers at the businesses we pull into, they're all so excited to be giving, knowing it's a great cause.
"There's always smiles on their faces, they're excited to be part of something that's special to the community. Then on the receiving side, we have the Salvation Army people with us all day and you can't beat the looks on their faces as the food keeps coming in."
This year, the bus will make public stops at St Andrews Shopping Centre, Redwoods Shopping Centre, Countdown (Fenton St), Pak'nSave (Amohau St), New World (Old Taupō Rd), Countdown Fairy Springs and Central Mall.
The rest of the day will be filled with school and business visits. This year a record 15 schools have asked to be included, up from 12 last year.
"It's just a genuine, really feel good buzz all day," Hickey said.
"To be honest, I wasn't holding my breath, with the year we've had, for what the response might be. Last year was our fifth year and we had a massive response.
"But the fact that we've had more schools come on board than we've ever had before is an encouraging sign. It just shows again the passion of the community and the will to help others. Regardless of what we end up with on the day, the fact that people are still willing to contribute and be a part of it is great."
Rotorua Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said the Salvation Army team almost had to draw straws to see who would go on the bus each year, such was the enthusiasm for the event.
"We're excited about getting out among the community, we love visiting the schools and cheering the kids on.
"As a community or just as people we love an opportunity to celebrate. This is something we look forward to as a community, it's a community day.
"This year in particular, there's been lockdowns and a lot of not so good news, so it's nice to have good news and something positive to celebrate and share."
Overbye said the people who received Christmas parcels from the Salvation Army Foodbank each year were often overwhelmed.
"People do remember when they've received a parcel. Time and time again, when it's unexpected, they're really overwhelmed and really grateful. It brings a huge amount of relief to a family."
Rotorua businesses are always eager to take part in Fill the Bus. This year one of those taking part for the first time is Rotorua Forest Haulage.
Office administrator Amanda Dorrell said everyone at the business was eager to get behind the cause.
"I've always donated to the foodbank at Christmas time but it's even easier to get behind it a bit more as a bigger company, getting stuff together to help out.
"We just asked our staff if they could donate if they were in a position to do so. We've been quite lucky so far, a lot of donations have come in already. I think because it's been a tough year, if you can do a little bit it all helps."
Another business which will be visited by the bus for the first time this year is Daymar Industries. Group accounts payable officer Cheyenne Simmons said she was inspired to get involved while taking the bus to work.
"I get the bus to work every morning and you have a lot of time to yourself. I thought to myself, Fill the Bus is during work hours so why not start a collection during work.
"We have a lot of employees here so I think we can make a big difference. The feedback so far is all really positive and people are wanting to get involved. With the year that we've had I think it's more important now than ever to help our own local community."