Kāpiti Community Foodbank has never been so short of food, co-ordinator Kerry Lovell said.

"The place is run by volunteers and it's really stressing them that we are struggling to put food in people's boxes.

"Our freezers are empty and our shelves are very low.

"We're hanging out for the next Rotary food drive but that is in May."

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Mrs Lovell said there were a few reasons behind the shortage of food.

"We are getting a lot more clients and I think food has become so expensive.

"The biggest complaint of clients is that rent is high and food is so expensive.

"Our numbers have been huge with 204 parcels in February.

"That's a lot of families and we're getting a lot of large families — people with four kids, three kids, and it only takes one bill, like a vet bill or a school trip bill, and the family budget has gone for the week.

"And I think a lot of people have a concept that foodbank is just for the poor but actually we're getting a lot of ordinary people coming in.

"A lot of young people in their 20s who have got a job but they're not earning enough money and food has become the last thing on their list.

"The number of times I hear 'I've got $6 left', 'I've got $12 left' for the week."

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The foodbank relies on dropboxes in supermarkets, church donations, individuals donation as well as the Rotary food collection in May and the Lions food collection in November.

"Usually that sustains us but this time it hasn't and everyone is saying its very unusual."

How can you help?

When you're doing your shopping add an extra can of food and place it in a supermarket foodbank collection box.

"That is what sustains us — people putting a package of rice in or a can of spaghetti in."

People can drop off some food to the foodbank, which is located by the Kāpiti Rd expressway interchange.

Or put some money into the foodbank ASB account which number is: 12-3157-0048639-00.

"We buy potatoes, carrots, onions, milk and margarine every week."

Anybody is entitled to three food parcels a year at the foodbank, no questions asked, but after three a referral is needed.

Mrs Lovell has been in the role for a month.

She used to work at Nelson Tasman Hospice as a health care assistant, and before that ran an organic co-op in Auckland, plus she has a social work background.

Despite the challenges of her new role, she's enjoying it.

"The job fitted my profile.

"I have a philosophy of let go of self.

"And this job is that — let go of self.

"It's really nice to work where you are actually serving the community.

"That's who I am."

Meanwhile, about a 10-strong team from a senior rugby group called Kāpiti Gorillas in conjunction with T Mason Earthworks Hire did a massive three-hour cleanup on Sunday of the outside area around the foodbank including filling in potholes, removing weeds, trees and shrubs, sweeping the grounds, and clearing a carpark of overgrowth.

It transformed the look of the foodbank building.

Kāpiti Community Foodbank was established in 1999 to provide free food parcels to families and individuals in need.

It is a volunteer run charity that services from Paekākāriki to Peka Peka.