Doctors, lawyers, teachers and accountants are some of those who have already gone to a local food charity ahead of leaving their jobs due to the Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
Rotorua Whakaroa's Elmer Peiffer said professionals on high salaries had reached out to see if they would qualify for food assistance when they became unemployed as of next week.
While it was too early to predict what the numbers might be, he said there will "definitely" be an increase to the 35,000 to 40,000 mouths fed through the service each month.
This time last year, when it was just starting out, it fed up to about 22,000 mouths each month.
"It's given us a clear indication that we'll possibly be seeing a large influx ... depending on how many quit their jobs due to the compulsory vaccination.
"We were quite surprised because we got some people in professions that have high salaries ... all the way up to six-digits per annum."
It would be difficult for these people to adjust to having no income at all.
As for how much more food they might need, he was unsure as of yet.
"We try very carefully to manage what we have so we can cater to all the areas that we do.
"It's just a matter of advising all the areas that we will give everything that we can, and if that's one crate of veges for your entire week, then that's all that we have ... there's an understanding that nothing's guaranteed."
Rotorua Whakaroa currently collects from the city's three Countdown supermarkets, Pak'nSave, bakeries, uneaten school lunches, weekly trips to Hastings to Nourished for Nil, and the New Zealand Food Network.
"The main concern is how many people need to understand the mandate ... just education."
He said a woman had told him she was worried she would lose her job because she wouldn't be able to get her second vaccine by the start of the mandate.
New people came through the service "somewhat regularly" but had recently started to plateau.
He said people from the medical profession had also got in touch with them too.
Peiffer said the food was for everyone and they did not provide food parcels, rather, people took what they needed once a week from what was available.
A man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was one of those who reached out.
The pensioner did paid work in a creative field alongside other volunteering at local events.
The paid work helped supplement his pension of $350 a week which he said was not enough to live off.
In his 70s, he has never needed support for food but it was likely he wouldn't be able to feed himself without help, he said.
"I made contact with Gina (Elmer's wife) straight away because I realised, damn, this is getting serious.
"I was just having to face my reality. [The food] alleviates one pressure."
The hardest part for him was not being able to continue all the projects that he's worked on for the past five years.
The man said he was "not keen at all" on the vaccine but was going to see his doctor to discuss it.
"If I have to go down that road to get the vaccine, I need to talk to my doctor first."
Rotorua Budget Advisory Services manager Pakanui Tuhura said the biggest challenge for those who will become jobless would be living within their reduced means and any debt repayments, he said.
The mandate was rolled out for skilled and specialised roles and many had spent years building up their expertise, he said.
"Job seekers, due to the mandate, will need to reskill and make career path changes if they seek employment in roles that aren't mandated."
He said those who did not transition to other work would fall into the social system as well as family and friends for support.
"This may not be sustainable unless the Government increases resources and Covid-19 support."
He said social agencies were already under "heavy stress" and it would depend on how many new clients they got as to whether they would be able to handle greater demand.
Tuhura advised people to talk to family and any dependents before making the decision to leave a job and let them know what they intended to do afterwards.
He said people should look for another job that did not require vaccination before leaving and register for the unemployment benefit immediately to have some income coming in while another job was found.
He said to talk to creditors and banks about the ability to refinance loans and debt to afford repayments on a reduced income as well as a budget service.
Ministry of Social Development acting regional commissioner Brent MacDonald said financial assistance would be available for people regardless of their vaccination status.
When someone applied for income support because they've become unemployed, there were a number of criteria the ministry considered, including if there was a "good and sufficient reason" for a person to stop work, he said.
"If an unvaccinated person was in a role before the requirement to be vaccinated was introduced, the introduction of a vaccination requirement would be considered a significant change in conditions of employment."
This meant it would not affect their access.
However, if the unvaccinated person accepted a role knowing there was a vaccine requirement and lost their job as a result, they may have to wait 13 weeks before they were entitled to income support, he said.
He said the ministry would continue to work with local businesses and industries to help people find jobs.