While Covid concerns have scuppered this year's Festival of Lights in New Plymouth, Taranaki foodbanks will see some benefit from the cancellation.
Broadband provider Primo has divided up its returned sponsorship money and given nearly $3900 to each of the Stratford, New Plymouth and Waitara foodbanks to help them stock up for Christmas.
Primo's Matt Harrison says the cancellation of the festival was a huge disappointment because the company loves being a sponsor.
"The good news was that the New Plymouth District Council refunded our sponsorship investment in full, and as it was money already spent, we decided to put this to good use in our community."
Matt's wife and Primo's resident Fairy Godmother, Jasmine Harrison (yes, that's her official title), saw in a newspaper article that the region's foodbanks needed a pre-Christmas boost.
"We wanted to come up with a way that could help as many people as possible. Being a mother to three girls aged 3 and under, I understand the pressure on today's parents and their whanau, so there's really no better way to help our community than making sure there are some full bellies at Christmas."
Stratford Community Foodbank chairwoman Dianne Roberts says the money has come on top of a successful community food drive. However, if people would like to help out with something a bit extra, the foodbank always loves getting donations of fresh fruit and veges, feminine hygiene products, and UHT milk.
Sharon Wills, the manager of New Plymouth Community Foodbank, says it will also use a lot of the money on fresh fruit and vegetables, which are always in demand.
Importantly, she says, if someone has a spare building in central New Plymouth, she would love to hear from them. The food bank is losing its premises in Vivian St shortly and they need somewhere to call home to cope with the growing demand.
Waitara Foodbank-Pataka Kai manager Amy Olsen says the money will come in handy to buy food because it's been a tough couple of years for many people.
"We don't have a demographic of particular people any more. We're getting people from all walks of life now."