Charity says hungry and struggling elderly New Zealanders account for 80 pct of calls

Elderly Kiwis in our largest city are crying out for help amid the cost of living crisis, with a charity telling Newshub they account for 80 percent of calls.

One pensioner told Newshub she barely has enough money for food and can no longer afford petrol for her car.

Once Avon Lines pays her bills there's very little left - barely $100 a fortnight for her and her partner to feed themselves.

"I find, at times, that even half a dozen eggs I can't afford. This is really hard, and people don't understand it," she said.

The 75-year-old's pantry is strikingly barren, mostly packets of rice and pasta. Her fridge? It's even emptier - some onions, half a cabbage, not much else.

"Tonight, the pension goes into our accounts, and tomorrow hell starts because a certain amount goes here, a certain amount goes there, and you're left with what you're left with," she said, adding this can be as little as under $100.

Age Concern Auckland chief executive Kevin Lamb said Avon's predicament is commonplace.

"They're coming to us to say, 'we simply can't make ends meet anymore, we don't know what to do, we don't know where to turn'," he said.

Calls to the charity from elderly Kiwis struggling with the cost of living used to account for 10 to 15 percent of all calls to the charity.

But they've skyrocketed, today representing 75-80 percent of total volume.

"They're buying food, cheap food, minimal food, and they're trying to ration it out over the course of a week," Lamb said.

It's a nationwide problem. Age Concern in Wellington told Newshub of an increase in calls from seniors who simply can't afford appropriate housing.

It all comes as the country braces for the biggest interest rate hike in its history with the official cash rate to be announced on Wednesday.

"It would be nice to have a little more. Just so that perhaps I could go to the movies or go out," Lines said.

Unrelenting costs leaving our oldest on the breadline.