A lot of thought goes into a food parcel from Tauranga Community Foodbank.

It's no random selection. Manager Nicki Goodwin says food parcels are well thought out and made up of staple food items to make up a number of meals with.

The foodbank has had help from a fellow volunteer and retired dietician to select healthy food items for meals. The parcels are designed to provide all family meals for at least three days.

Meal ideas are included in every food parcel. Ideas include variations of pasta and rice meals, meat and vegetable meals, healthy soups plus lunch and breakfast ideas.


''Easy Meal'' recipe books are available.

Anyone who is collecting a food parcel is able to take as much fruit and vegetables as they require.

''We are still on a budget ourselves, what is in here is donated from the community from our wishlist.''

The service has two levels of help — emergency help (three times a year) and helping people who are connected with budget services.

Since the launch of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal — raising food and donations for the local foodbank — it has been inundated.

Nicki says they have been ''blown away'' by response from the community. Within three weeks, more than $20,000 and 4700 food items were donated to the Tauranga Community Foodbank.

What's in a food parcel?
For a typical food parcel for a family of five:
• Cans of tomatoes, soup, cream corn, baked beans, spaghetti, fish, coconut cream and fruit.
• Toilet paper, soap, sanitary items, razors, shampoo and conditioner.
• Rolled oats, muesli bars.
• Bags of pasta, rice.
• Loaves of bread x3, bread rolls, fruit loaf.
• Milk, tea, jam, peanut butter, pancake mix, Raro.
• Margarine, oil.
• Eggs.
• Fruit and vegetables.

How to apply for a food parcel
• You need to visit one of the Tauranga Community Foodbank's approved referral agencies to obtain a "food parcel referral". Just take along some form of ID and they will be able to get things sorted. They will give the foodbank a call so it knows you will be visiting. That way the team at the foodbank can have everything ready when you arrive.