2 May 2024

Food support charities struggling to meet unprecedented demand

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 2 May 2024

Charities supporting more than half a million New Zealanders have reported a 40 percent increase in food demand last year - 2023.

The cost-of-living crisis - which rose an average of 6.2 percent for households in the year to April - and job layoffs so far this year, means the situation is now likely even worse, and providers will struggle to meet the soaring demand over winter. 

The New Zealand Food Network has more than 60 member organisations - including large City Mission and Salvation Army charities - who between them support roughly 12 percent of the population - 630,000 people. The network's recently released sixth monthly report to end of 2023, also found a third of clients were seeking food support for the first time.

New Zealand Food Network chief executive Gavin Findlay says the survey "reveals a stark reality" and that "the number of Kiwis struggling to access food" is continuing to rise.

Gavin and Ian Foster - chief executive of South Auckland Christian Food Bank - speak to Kathryn.

NZFN's Pitch In Campaign is running now. To make a bulk food or financial donation, visit pitchin.org.nz 

Christchurch City Mission food parcels.

Photo: RNZ / Niva Chittock