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Nicki Goodwin, Tauranga Community Foodbank manager, and chairman Alan Plunkett surrounded by food items donated by the community.

In just six weeks, more than $110,000 has been raised for the Tauranga Community Foodbank by the people of Tauranga.

The Christmas Eve provisional total for the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal was $110,736.53, which is above last year’s total of $107,519.05.

Foodbank chairman Alan Plunkett said this year’s appeal had been superb.

“We’ve got probably three months supply of food, that’s not including the cash donations.

“By virtue of the cash that’s been given to us, we’ve got a year’s supply of purchasing power.”

It has been a year of change for the foodbank. In October, it was given an hour’s notice to pack up and leave its Dive Crescent building after toxic black mould and asbestos was found. The foodbank had five days to move into a new premises and get up and running again.

The new premises were easier to work in and new gifts of freezers and shelving had help to improve the working environment.

He said the community had been “absolutely extraordinary” during the appeal and people had provided a larger range of food items than usual.

Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said it had been a hugely successful year.

“And now with the help of the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal, we can look forward to another successful year as far as being able to provide food to our community goes.

“There’s the move which had to happen, which was successful. There was the new shelving and new chiller and now we’ve had a successful Christmas appeal.”

Mrs Goodwin thanked the community, local businesses, clubs, churches and other social agencies such as Food Rescue for their help in the past 12 months.

Mrs Goodwin’s highlight was when a woman had brought in groceries and toys to donate.

“At the same time, I met a lady in here who had nothing for her children, absolutely nothing. I approached the other lady with the toys and suggested she give them to that lady, which she decided to do.

“The lady receiving the toys was just so overwhelmed, she was in tears. She came in afterwards to see if she could work here because she wanted to pay back what she had received. I said no, because she had enough to deal with.”