Social agencies are seeing an increase in struggling families unable to afford necessities as the pressures leading up to winter settle in.

Tauranga Community Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said increased need could continue for months as people tried to keep up with their power bills.

"Unfortunately winter comes every year and with it are extra expenses involved in keeping warm and dry," she said.

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"A lot of people's budgets are stretched to breaking anyway but add in electricity and firewood, and they actually snap."

The Bay of Plenty Times has launched a Foodbank SOS appeal to help the organisation fill its shelves so the service can help struggling families in the lead-up to winter.

On Monday morning, Goodwin said 165 food items had been dropped off, and there had been "lots of phone calls". Goodwin hoped the donations would continue to flow.

When people are having their lovely three course meal in their warm home, 100 yards down the road there are people who are desperately hungry.

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Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust executive director Tommy Wilson said the "need for more food doesn't go away.

"When people are having their lovely three-course meal in their warm home, 100 yards down the road there are people who are desperately hungry," he said.

Agencies such as Te Tuinga Whanau were at the frontline for people to be referred to the foodbank, Wilson said.

Tauranga Budget Advisory Service manager Diane Bruin said budget advisory service worked closely with the foodbank to provide emergency food parcels for struggling families.

"It is enough food to get them through three days before some income comes through," she said.

Bruin said there had been an increase of people needing help, including new clients which she believed was because of housing costs which had started to impact on families.