Food bank charities continue to experience soaring demand to help feed struggling Northlanders as the economic impact of Covid-19 shows no signs of letting up.
And they're bracing for a second surge in the coming weeks as the wage subsidy extension and mortgage deferral scheme both come to an end in early September.
Salvation Army Whangārei community ministries team leader Trevor McLean said they were still delivering around 750 emergency food parcels a week, mostly to towns in the Mid North and Kaipara including Dargaville, Waitangi, Kaikohe and Moerewa.
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"We're doing about 300 a week to Whangārei, the rest is in the regions," he said.
"It's made the Northland statistic real now, not necessarily due to Covid, but that the issue is more in our face than it was before. Covid has brought that to the forefront."
McLean said the current concern is the impact of the pandemic over the coming months through to Christmas.
"When the mortgage holidays come off, as the wage subsidies come off, what's going to be the real social and economic impact for Whangārei and our regions?
"That's the big question... we're just trying to plan, and be aware there's a possibility of an increase and maintain what we're doing and look at our response."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out extending the wage subsidy scheme, which began in March, was extended in June and will finish on September 1.
A six-month mortgage deferral scheme was also introduced in March to help Kiwi borrowers hit by Covid-19.
Finance minister Grant Robertson recently said the Reserve Bank may extend mortgage holidays for those that are struggling.
Meanwhile, food banks have seen a huge surge in demand for their services.
The Government promised a $30m support package over two years to bolster the delivery of food and welfare assistance by local authorities and civil defence emergency management groups to those who need it the most.
Around $1.8m has been given to Northland iwi, food banks and community and welfare organisations for food delivery and welfare help.
Northern Community Family Service offers free mentoring and guidance for Mid North residents facing financial difficulties from the Kerikeri Baptist Church, which is also home to the Kerikeri food bank service.
Adviser Milton David said he's currently helping five people who are going through insolvency; people in their 40s and 50s who have "gone out on their own" and been forced to close due to Covid-19.
He has also noticed a new trend where more people are wanting to use their KiwiSaver funds due to hardship.
He expects a large jump in demand for food parcels and for budgeting services as the wage subsidy extension ends.
"Once that stops, people will realise they're on their own, they have to make their own ends meet.
"That's when people will come in, not only for food, but also help with some of their debts."
Kairos Trust food bank administrator Erin Titmus, who runs the Kerikeri food bank service, said the demand for food parcels peaked at 20 per week during lockdown and has since levelled off to around a dozen per week.
But there could be another surge as the wage subsidy extension finishes, she said.
"It peaked in lockdown and has eased a little, but we're preparing for the real fallout to come soon," she said.
"I don't know that we've seen the full impact yet."
KidsCan has seen a record food delivery as Kiwi kids in hardship face a particularly tough winter.
Just over 64,300 hot lunches have been dished out to Northland schools so far this year, up from 57,854 servings last year - an increase of 6500.
A total of 330,758 servings of other food, like baked beans, yoghurt, muesli bars, nuts and fruit, were given out this year, an increase of 73,000 servings from last year.
"Teachers are telling us that for many Kiwi kids living in poverty this is the toughest winter yet," KidsCan chief executive Julie Chapman said.
"The working poor are being hard hit by job losses.
"Some families have lost their homes as they can't keep up with rent. Some are spending days without power in cold rentals as they can't afford to top up the meter.
"They're sacrificing food. It means more children are coming to school hungry and cold, and that's deeply concerning."
Kaitāia Primary School is one of around 50 Northland schools that rely on food from KidsCan.
Principal Brendon Morrissey said he expects more jobs to be lost or downsized in the community which will make life harder for some whānau.
"Overall, the need for food and clothing in this area has always been quite high, and at this point I've not noticed it's any worse.
"But it's still quite early days, and though some have lost jobs, there are still more to come. I suspect later on this term and term 4 we'll probably notice a lot more."
Morrissey said he and other Far North school principals meet regularly via the Far North Principal's hui to make sure families are connected to the help they need.
Along with charities like KidsCan, locals are good at helping each other, he said.
Recently a local café began donating muffins and scones to the school, and others make sure the pātaka kai are full, he said.
"We all have families we're worried about when times are tough, and they're only getting tougher for some of our whānau.
"But Kaitāia has a lot of people interested in helping - that's something the community is quite good at."