People who still have jobs are reaching deeper into their pockets to help those who are being made redundant.

Churches and social agencies say individual giving is rising in the recession, even though some trusts have been forced to cut back donations.

Auckland City Mission fundraiser Alexis Sawyers said more people were giving to the mission, and some long-term donors who normally gave $50 were now giving $100.

"This happened in the early '90s when things were tough as well," she said. "People do try and be more generous when they know that things are difficult for a lot of members of the community."

Auckland Girls Grammar student Paula Baker-Heremaia, 15, and her brother Tobias, 10, have collected leftover bread from a local bakery and delivered it to the mission in a makeshift trolley most weekdays after school for the past year.

"My father got a contract with them [the bakery] to clear what was left at the end of the day, and because it was too much for us to eat at home he decided to give it to the City Mission," Paula said.

Salvation Army Auckland community services manager Gerry Walker said one man who celebrated his birthday recently asked his friends to give to the Salvation Army instead of bringing presents.

"He presented $1100 to us yesterday," Mr Walker said. "He just walked in with an envelope and handed it over and walked away. We are very humbled by that.

"We have certainly noticed that the public and companies have responded positively in the economic recession in terms of donations. When you get a more than 40 per cent increase across Auckland [in the need] for food parcels, we really appreciate that."

Destiny Church spokeswoman Janine Cardno said church members were giving more food for the church's foodbank and more cash.

But the manager of the Presbyterian Support Northern foodbank, Roy Rennie, said some congregations were struggling to keep up their donations.

"Churches are a cross-section of the community, and while people might be more inclined to give in general terms, when things get tough you have to look after yourself first," he said.

Meanwhile a survey of 54 charitable trusts by Philanthropy New Zealand has found that only half (51 per cent) expect to cut or stop donations this year because of the recession.

Most of the rest (43 per cent) expect to keep giving the same as last year and 6 per cent will give more.

"Gotta keep giving!" one respondent said.