Coronavirus: People in poverty struggling even more under alert level 4

People living in poverty are struggling more than usual under alert level 4.

Demand for food parcels is growing and those unable to access welfare support are going broke.

Some women are receiving charity food parcels throughout the lockdown to help them make ends meet.

"It is a little bit envious standing in the line when you've got the person next over spending $600-$700 and you've got your $100," one told Newshub.

They're not alone - hundreds queued up in south Auckland on Saturday to receive parcels of their own.

It seems desperation is growing.

"Their usual support networks have fallen over in this lockdown and the situation has worsened," says Middlemore Foundation CEO Sandra Geange.

"They don't have a relationship or a trust of government agencies, so they're just not getting the support that others are getting, so we've certainly seen an acceleration of that need."

Some can't access government welfare support such as migrants on temporary work visas.

"It is because the legislation only applies to citizens and permanent residents," says Migrants Union Network spokesperson Mandeep Singh Bela.

Migrant worker Paras Gupta needs income support.

"Financially, I'll be like $8 in my account," he told Newshub.

He was about to start a new job as a cook but then the lockdown hit, forcing him to sleep on the street.

"It was just cold, stormy sometimes, rainy sometimes. I couldn't sleep sometimes," he told Newshub.

Shivam Kanojia also came here from India. He has also been struggling to make ends meet after he was laid off.

"I can't survive here, all my credit cards, it's all in minus."

Advocates are calling on the Government to relax benefit rules for migrant workers.

"In situations where migrants have lost their job due to COVID-19, it is imperative that we actually look after them as well," says Bela.

Migrants want to join the growing line of Kiwis who need help, now more than ever.