Christmas ham won't be on the menu for the hundreds of people who use the Tauranga Community Foodbank but they will get to eat locally made pies thanks to a generous company.
Almost 20,000 pies are made at the Gourmet Foods plant in Judea each day. The pies are made, cooked, cooled then packaged before being sent all over the country.
Perfection is what owner Roger Rushton and the team strive for and because of this, hundreds of pies are pushed to the side each week because the pastry is cracked or mince has spilled out over the top while cooking.
But these pies are not thrown out - they are donated to the Tauranga Community Foodbank.
"These pies are perfectly good to eat, they're just not at a high enough standard for us to send out to our customers," Mr Rushton said.
"And the foodbank gets the benefit from it. They're a deserving organisation."
Gourmet Foods donated pies to the Foodbank long before Mr Rushton took over the company in 2002.
He said the goal was for the business to create 100 per cent perfect pies but it was happy to support the foodbank with stock that did not meet high visible standards.
The pies are made from scratch at the Judea factory, which employ about 40 staff.
About two dozen bakers make the pastry and pie filling each day, the pies are then put together with a machine from Germany, and put into a large oven. Next, the pies are cooled then put through an x-ray machine then packaged.
The company donates about 500 pies to the Tauranga Community Foodbank each week. The pies are an essential part of the food parcels that are packed up and distributed to needy families.
Foodbank chairman Mike Baker said Gourmet Foods were one of the charity's major contributors.
"The pies they provide are a staple part of the food parcel along with spaghetti and baked beans. Without these pies the parcels would be significantly smaller."
"Their contribution is essential. They have been quiet supporters of the foodbank for many years and grateful isn't the right word to use. We're absolutely amazed by their generosity and support."
Meanwhile, Bay of Plenty Times staff and volunteers collected more than 600 food items during the first can drive in Greerton on Tuesday night.
This brings the total number of food items donated to the foodbank during the Bay of Plenty Times 2012 Christmas Appeal to 2779.
Each food item is valued at $1.50.
Cash donations of more than $2500 have been dropped off to the foodbank on Dive Cres and more money has been donated directly into the appeal bank account.
In total, the amount raised for the foodbank is more than $6500.