Tauranga Community Foodbank experienced more demand in the first two hours of this week than they normally would in a full day, and calls are still coming in.
Social agencies around the Bay of Plenty expect the demand for food assistance to be higher at alert level 4 this time than during last year's lockdown, as they fear those who used savings to get by last year may now be running on empty.
Tauranga Community Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin said it doubled what it usually did in a day within the first two hours of being open on Monday and there had been lots of new faces, including those who did not qualify for subsidies or who did not have enough money to pay for food.
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Goodwin said children were eating more food when they were at home all the time and this could add to the financial strain of not having lunches provided at schools.
"It's really hitting this week ... we're flat-out."
Goodwin said the Foodbank didn't expect a huge demand last week as no one knew how long the lockdown would last.
The foodbank is using a booking system for pickups to manage how many people are there at a given time and also has two delivery vehicles.
She said there was a good enough supply of food at the moment as they had learned from last lockdown, and the foodbank had a good relationship with many suppliers.
Tauranga homeless advocate Heidi Tidmarsh has been providing a contactless sausage sizzle for the street people of Tauranga.
The sausages were donated by Col Drever from Col's Butchery & Deli in Mount Maunganui, cooked at home and taken to Willow St.
Drever said they had stock that needed to be managed, and they wanted to help Tidmarsh support those in need.
She would continue to do this wherever she saw a gap in the community.
"They're hungry ... normally they have the restaurants they go to when they close and get a takeaway, that's not happening."
Those who begged were not getting any change for food and the lack of people walking around meant there were no cigarette butts to pick up off the ground.
Under the Stars, a volunteer service providing food to those in need in Tauranga, has released a revised list of community meals available given lockdown hardships.
This includes a community lunch at four locations on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, a dinner on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday.
Elmer Peiffer from Rotorua Whakaora said they handed out 170 food parcels on Friday, 112 on Saturday, 50 at Linton Park and 50 at Mokoia Community Centre on Monday.
"We found the 50 at Linton wasn't enough ... we'd normally have about 15 or 20 people so we doubled the amount just in case, and double the amount wasn't enough," he said.
"That took us by surprise and it just showed the need in that Fordlands and Linton Park area. Even people from Western Heights have gone to access it."
The demand for food has increased by between 10 and 15 per cent and included 5 per cent new clients.
The supply was "dwindling", he said. "We're being very careful and aware of what we can put out to ensure everybody gets a good portion for their family.
"We're always continually sourcing, and we've had some parties come together to give us some help. Just getting the word out there that we can use any and all food that's donated."
While the demand was lower than the last lockdown, he said the numbers would climb as more people realised they could use the service.
He said they feared an even bigger demand than the last lockdown as those who may have used their savings last year to get by will have nothing left.
Rotorua Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said the demand for food was "definitely above average", as this was the only support being provided to people in need.
Overbye said people were being referred from other agencies as well as people seeking help directly.
The support being provided is only through food parcels, she said.
She said children being at home, unable to get the lunches provided at school, was an additional financial strain for parents on top of the fact kids were eating more while at home.
Overbye said the people needing help ranged from those unable to get food to those who were unable to leave the house due to age or disability.
Visions of a Helping Hand Charitable Trust founder Tiny Deane said it provided food parcels to those in the motels the trust managed if it was urgent, however, this had been minimal with five parcels since the lockdown.
Many of those living in motels were currently able to do their own shopping.
He was unsure what the demand would be should the lockdown be extended, as he said people may begin to manage, or run out of money between benefit payouts.
He said the trust was also receiving referrals from other agencies for people who were not in motels, and demand for this was noticeably higher last week.
Ministry of Social Development regional commissioner Mike Bryant urged anyone in need to contact the agency and not to try to go without.
Current data for the demand for food grants was not available.
He said it worked closely with social service providers, including foodbanks, during lockdowns to ensure food could get to vulnerable whānau and communities.
MSD teams are still working while the centres are closed at level 4, and people can get in touch through MyMSD or freephone 0800 559 009.