The harsh reality many Bay families are facing has come into sharp focus in recent months.
Household budgets have been hit by rapidly rising housing costs and the impact of Covid-19 cutting a devastating path through the job market.
The picture painted by social agencies is gut-wrenching.
Tauranga Budgetary Advisory Service this week revealed clients racked up $220,000 in rent arrears last month alone and are making difficult choices with other household bills.
As a result phone and electricity are being cut off, people are taking on houses they cannot afford and some are resorting to living in tents.
Others, unable to make ends meet, borrow money from the only place they can get it - high-interest lenders - and spiral further into debt.
Rotorua social agencies are also supporting more families facing hardship.
The city's tourism and hospitality sectors have been hit hard by the country's border restrictions and - as in Tauranga - there has been a big spike in the number of people seeking help from the foodbank.
Last year 446 food parcels were given to people in need in Rotorua - the number was twice that at 1062 in early November.
If ever there was a year foodbanks needed our support, it's this year.
And that's why it's so pleasing to see the community's response to our 2020 Christmas Appeals.
This week's Fill the Bus event for the Rotorua Salvation Army was the most successful yet. Residents donated 9376 items worth $18,752. That was up from 7166 items worth $14,332 last year.
The massive response means that more food parcels can be given out.
The outpouring of support is also happening in Tauranga where more than $52,000 worth of cash and food donations have been made to Tauranga Community Foodbank - nearly double the amount collected at the same point last year.
The donations have come from people and businesses who have been supporting the foodbank for many years. There are also people and businesses streaming through that have not had any contact with the service before.
The challenges we, as a country, have faced this year have at times seemed overwhelming.
But, as the fantastic support for our foodbank appeals shows, we continue to get through it by working together.
Thank you to everyone who has given so generously - with your support we can make this Christmas a little easier for those in need.