Kiwi shares devastation after being forced to use foodbank for first time as cost of living soars

Kiwis are sharing their struggles buying basics as the cost of living skyrockets, with one person revealing they were forced to use a foodbank for the first time.

It comes as the cost of living increases with Kiwis spending on average an extra $4000 to $5000 in the past 12 months on basics such as food, rent and fuel. The majority of the increase is fuel with an extra $678 a year at the pump on average.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has admitted some Kiwis are doing it tough but refused to call it a crisis on Monday. While National leader Christopher Luxon is proposing tax bracket changes to help the situation. 

On Tuesday a mum of five told AM she's struggling after her family's bills increased by $7000 in the past year. 

And she's not alone. Kiwis have taken to social media site Reddit to share their struggles.

In a detailed post, one person said the increases were so bad they had to visit a foodbank for the first time - despite having a good job. They gave Newshub permission to share their story.  

"I feel sad because this isn't a place I ever expected to be in my life. I have a decent job… I'm a department manager at a big-box retailer."

Their partner is a full-time mum of their two kids who are under five and picks up hours as a shop assistant here and there. Their rent isn't outlandish and they're careful with their money but after a couple of unexpected expenses, they were forced to visit a foodbank.

"Now I'm in the position where I'm accepting food from strangers to feed my family. I'm embarrassed because not being able to provide for your family feels lame as f**k.

"I'm an adult and not dumb or inept or frivolous or lazy or a junkie, or anything else people might think of someone who can't provide for his family, and I'm having to walk into a food bank to put food on the table."

They said visiting the foodbank made them feel guilty, gross and like a failure.

"I'm also conscious I'm taking donated food that could be going to people in way worse situations than me and my family, which makes me feel guilty and gross."

They said they've worked hard their whole life and make sensible money choices but are still struggling.

"I'm angry because something is f**king broken. I've worked hard my whole life. I haven't made dumb decisions. And don't anyone say having kids was a dumb decision because they are my whole world and we should live in a country where anyone with a full-time job can provide for their family. "

"This situation is cooked… Five years ago I considered myself middle class. When people are in f**king free-fall out of the middle class, that is exactly when shit hits the fan."

They finished by saying they're angry at both National and Labour and feel let down by the system.

0800 Hungry Warehouse Supervisor Nicky Bensemann said she's seeing more and more working people relying on their service. 

"It's not even just working poor, you're finding the pensioners are really, really struggling and they shouldn't be in this position, you're finding people that were in their own homes and now they're in emergency accommodation. 

"There is something going on out there in society and a lot of people are struggling." 

Bensemann said it is absolutely a crisis for many people. 

It's a sentiment shared by Bay Financial Mentors general manager Shirley McCombe who told AM families are in crisis. 

"It's a perfect storm of issues that people are facing at the moment. It's not just the cost of food that is rising but petrol, pressure on the supply for housing. For people, particularly those on lower to middle incomes, it certainly feels like a crisis," she said