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No matter your background, looks or current situation, the Tauranga Community Foodbank will not judge.

It was this that attracted Alice Warren to volunteer.

Mrs Warren has been volunteering at the foodbank for about 10 years.

“I love it. I really love it,” she said. “I don’t want to sound cliched, but I love the privilege and the opportunity to be able to give in a total non-judgmental environment.

“Do you know what I love the most? It’s the fact that every story you get here is its own story. There’s no generalisations here, no judgments.”

Mrs Warren is a member of the Wednesday volunteering team and loves every moment of it.

“I look forward to Wednesday. We have a really positive and vibrant group of volunteers. I’m sure every day is great, each day has its own little family of volunteers.

“It’s not so much about putting the food in the boxes, but giving in a no-questions-asked environment. It’s a real privilege. But for me, the principal pleasure is interacting with the clients who come here.”

She became a volunteer on the suggestion of a friend, although she had been considering putting her name forward for a while.

It fulfilled her mantra of “love your neighbour as yourself and look after the poor and homeless”.

Volunteering at the foodbank during Christmas meant being able to alleviate some of the pressure on families.

“We’re all mindful that life is stressful enough on a daily basis. Christmas places increased pressure on families and increased stress. If we alleviate some of that in terms of extra giving or a few extra bits that add to the Christmas spirit, it’s not going to solve anything but a least it will bring some joy.”