Around 100,000 people are currently relying on food grants and parcels to feed their families each week.
The Sikh community has fed 15,000 families over the past fortnight - and hundreds of people are still lining up each day for help.
Around 700 families queued outside a Sikh temple in Auckland on Sunday to receive a food parcel. They turned up early because they're so desperate they couldn't miss out.
So many people are in need of food that before the food parcel pickup had even opened at 2pm the line went down the driveway, down the road, and around the corner.
None wanted to talk on camera and many said it was their first time asking for help.
The New Zealand Sikh community has fed around 15,000 families in just the past fortnight from Auckland right down to Queenstown.
"People from any ethnicity, any religion are welcome. We are all one and in this difficult time we are all New Zealanders. We should all stand with the wider community," says Daljit Singh, from the Supreme Sikh Society.
And every day, the number of hungry families exceeds their worst predictions.
"[On the] North Shore we expected only 350 yesterday and 750 turned out," Singh says.
He says they're serving 12 tonnes of food a day to the community.
That's on top of the Ministry of Social Development currently giving out around 70,000 food grants each week whereas it was giving out less than 15,000 a week this time last year - that's a more than four-fold increase.
And when you consider Sikh drive-thrus weren't here this time last year the number of people in need is shocking.