The Salvation Army says it's seeing an increasing number of responsible Kiwis whose lives have been derailed by one instance of bad luck.
Every week 314 new people contact the Salvation Army for assistance, and those who are currently working are often at risk too.
A few years ago, Trudy Taurau never would have imagined she would need to receive food packages. But in 2010 her comfortable life took a turn for the worst. She fell so sick she was unable to work and lost her job.
"So you're going from, I call it high-middle income – owning my own home – down to a benefit," says Ms Taurau. "You still [have] the same bills, [but] you don't [have] the same income."
She sold her house and exhausted all of her savings trying to provide for her two children, including putting her son through boarding school. That was not the only sacrifice she made for her children.
"You are telling your child you are not hungry so that he'll eat, and then you just don't eat for days."
She had hit absolute rock bottom, and her mother stepped in and called the Salvation Army.
"It was at a point where we were not in a good place. We were living in a garage. The Salvation Army picked me up and gave me a place to live, and got me into classes."
The Salvation Army says it is meeting more and more responsible people who have experienced misfortune that has derailed their lives.
It believes the cost of rent is a dangerous factor, even for those working.
"It doesn't leave a lot of room for something to go wrong," says Jason Dilger, a representative for the Salvation Army. "I do believe there are a significant number of people out there who are vulnerable."
It says an increasing number of Kiwis are living pay-by-pay, but ideally everyone would have a financial safety net set aside to help with any unexpected hiccups.
"So many people aren't even in a position to think that way because they're just trying to meet expenses week to week."
Ms Taurau can relate to that and has a message for others.
"I'd reach out to the Sallies every single time and I tell anybody else [to]."
She now has the foundations to nurture her family and prosper.
source: newshub archive