Record food tally fills the bus to the brim
More than $10,000 worth of food items have been donated through the 12-hour Fill the Bus food drive, beating last year’s efforts.
The Hits Rotorua Fill the Bus drive took to the streets on Wednesday, making more than 20 stops to pick up goods during the day.
Last year the bus collected 5357 food items and 1126 toys. This year, the efforts have been topped — with 5426 items donated. Each of the items is valued at $2, giving the drive’s total a monetary value of $10,852.
The Hits Rotorua presenter Paul Hickey said the day was “tiring but inspiring”. “Just everybody being so generous, it’s such a positive vibe.”
Hickey said there was a huge crew at the Salvation Army helping to count the donations and it was hard to tell how much had been donated throughout the day.
“We’re already talking about next year. It will be the fifth year so we’re thinking of ways to make it better.”
While the Fill the Bus day was the big donation day for the appeal, Hickey said their support for the remainder of the appeal would continue.
“We encourage those who couldn’t come see us on the day to come and donate.”
Salvation Army corps officer Ralph Overbye was “extremely pleased” when he found out the total.
“There are a lot of people we’d like to thank including The Hits, the Rotorua Daily Post, the public and all the people that donated. We had an amazing team of volunteers who helped us during the day and that night. They did an amazing job.”
All items collected will go towards the Rotorua Daily Post Salvation Army Foodbank Christmas Appeal, which aims to restock the organisation’s foodbank in time for Christmas and 2019.
Lynmore Primary School contributed to the Fill the Bus final tally.