With a cost-of-living crisis showing no immediate sign of easing, some families are struggling to put food on the table.
The situation becomes worse over Christmas and the new year as many food banks that provide support to them are closed at this time of the year.
To help those in need, Indian businesses and community organisations in Auckland and Wellington are continuing the tradition of spreading Christmas joy with free food initiatives.
The Supreme Sikh Society in South Auckland is offering food parcels and grocery bags to social agencies and individuals in need every day over the holiday period, says Daljit Singh, president of the society.
"The doors of our gurdwara in Takanini are open between 9am and 6pm (for people) to collect food bags," Singh says. "Everyone is also invited to share the communal meal langar if they so wish."
Another community organisation, Guru Nanak's Free Kitchen Auckland, which distributes free vegetarian meals in central Auckland on the last Saturday of each month, is serving free hot meals between 5pm and 7pm on the last two Saturdays of December in Aotea Square.
Meanwhile, Auckland-based South Indian food chain Satya is offering free Christmas lunches between midday and 2pm at its Great North Road and Sandringham branches.
Satya owners Swamy Akuthota and his wife, Padmaja, have been running such an initiative since 2011. This year, the family is accepting donations apart from sponsorship, which you can find on the company's website. The menu includes chicken jalfrezi, fish curry, dhal, rice, parathas, pickles, dips and papadams.
Paradise, another Indian restaurant in Sandringham, will set up a free food counter in its takeaway area for people in need. Owner Salah Mohammad has been running the initiative since 2017.
In Wellington, community organisation Ekta New Zealand will distribute grocery packs in the Porirua area and is calling for donations of $35 to sponsor a bag.