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HomeAus & NZCost of living pressures dial up demand for food parcels

Cost of living pressures dial up demand for food parcels

'Quick read' news summary

City missions across the country say people who have jobs but can’t afford their ongoing costs are increasingly turning up for help.

Food banks around the country have had a flood of demand in the first few weeks of this year as the cost of living shows no signs of easing.

More than 50 people visited Wellington City Mission’s social supermarket to choose free groceries when it re-opened just over a week ago – five times more than the usual number.

The city mission’s general manager of community services, Olivia Lange, said many customers were new to foodbank services.

“Some of the comments were from people saying they hadn’t eaten all week, that they’d been waiting for [foodbanks] to open and many of the people that were being interviewed were first time coming and accessing services, which was surprising for us.”

She said the cost of living was unmanageable for an increasing number of people.

“Things are really tight for people, they’ve got high rents, food is expensive … there’s a real uncertainty for people at the moment about how things are going to go for them.”

It’s a similar story in Christchurch, where city missioner Corinne Haines said they were giving out up to 110 food parcels a day, up from 70 in the last few months of 2022.

“They can’t believe that they’re coming to a foodbank. They can’t believe that they’ve found themselves unable to cope this year so there are people coming who have not come to us in the past.”

Haines was preparing for a 30 percent increase in demand for the foodbank this year.

“We’ll be bracing ourselves for that and hopefully we can access supply at that level because we are buying in

City missions across the country say people who have jobs but can't afford their ongoing costs are increasingly turning up for help. Food banks around the country have had a flood of demand in the first few weeks of this year as the cost of living shows no signs of easing. The city mission's general manager of community services, Olivia Lange, said many customers were new to foodbank services.

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