Charities ask Kiwis to donate more than second hand goods or tinned vegetables

A charity helping to feed victims of domestic violence is asking people to think twice before donating chickpeas and canned tomatoes.

Jackie Clark runs the Auckland-based charity The Aunties and says the canned foods are difficult to cook with and not fit for purpose.

For five years Ms Clark's been collecting donations from the public and passing them on to those in need, mostly women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Twice a year she accepts food and has noticed a problem.

"Chickpeas and canned tomatoes are piled high and not so much of the nice Christmas stuff," she said.

Ms Clark says the women she helps often don't know how to cook with chickpeas and canned tomatoes and have a greater need for the basics to create a meal, like fresh vegetables.

"Meat is a big one, there's a real need for fresh meat," she said.

At the Auckland City Mission donated Christmas presents are piling in by the truck load.

Helen Robinson's grateful to receive every single one of them but the organisation would prefer only new gifts, rather than second hand ones.

"We're really conscious that for the people coming through our doors, this will be the only Christmas present they'll receive," said Helen Robinson, social services general manager at the mission.

Among the gifts donated Newshub found an obsolete VHS tape and one item chewed by an animal.

But it comes from a good place, we Kiwis are a generous bunch.

While it's difficult to know exactly how much food and goods gift each year, we're ranked fourth in the world for our generosity.

While we all want to give this Christmas, the advice is to ask the organisation you're gifting to first what they want and need first.

The charities stress that all gifts are gratefully received, but think about what you would like to receive if you were in their shoes this Christmas.