Auckland City Mission has broken their own "record" of food parcels due to the increased number of desperate Aucklanders needing food.
Almost 16,000 parcels were handed out last year compared to around 13,000 the year before.
The Mission says the reality is that once housing costs are paid, low-income families are often forced to choose between food and other essential costs.
Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly says, "There is a hunger crisis in our country. In the past 12 months, the City Mission has distributed 15,879 emergency food parcels, up from 12,753 the previous year. That's a 22 per cent increase and the highest in our 98-year history."
He says, for example, "Someone with an income of $500 a week and expenses of $480 will only have $20 left for food, and if an emergency occurs, that money will get squeezed."
Farrelly says, "This means people are unable to afford enough appropriate, quality food, and find they need to ask for emergency food assistance. It is a major source of shame and stress for these families."
According to Farrelly, many of the families who are seeking assistance from the Mission are doing so for the first time.
"Food parcels are something that families turn to when they're in crisis: when a job has been lost, someone becomes ill, relationships fall apart and a family has no one else to turn to. What is concerning is the increased number of Kiwi families facing this situation," he says.
The Mission is currently running their mid-year drive and are appealing to the public for donations to help them meet this large increase in demand.
The City Mission's Winter Appeal runs until 20 August 2018.