Increasing numbers of "working poor" are seeking help from Tauranga's social services this winter, some of whom are being forced to choose between food or power.

This week the Salvation Army launched a public appeal to help people struggling with extra financial pressures during winter.

Davina Plummer, manager of the Tauranga Salvation Army's Community Ministries, said there had been a spike in people asking for help.

"There is always a consistently high demand during the winter months, with more than 21 people on average coming through our doors each week.

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"Predominantly, people are asking for help to pay for basic