I know what it is like not being able to provide essentials for your family like food and nappies.
But I was one of the lucky ones who was able to fall back on whanau who came to the rescue time and time again when the going got tough.
It is a dreadful feeling when you are on a limited budget and any little expense like fixing your car or paying a huge power bill can throw you over the edge.
Those experiences happened many years ago but I can still remember my dented pride and the awkwardness of it all asking my parents for another handout to get me through another week.
Today food is the one item I tend to splurge on above others. Every Saturday morning I order my groceries online and I am very fortunate to have the money to pay for it.
There are people in the Bay from all walks of life who don't have that luxury and it hits home even more as Christmas draws nearer.
Some families can't afford presents let alone put on a big Christmas spread, while others will clock up debt and create more financial and emotional stress over the silly season.
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This is where organisations including the Tauranga Foodbank and the Salvation Army, to name a few, become lifesavers.
Last year the Bay of Plenty Times raised a record-breaking $148,255.35 as part of its Christmas Appeal for the foodbank while the Rotorua Daily Post raised $63,279 worth of food and gifts for the Salvation Army.
All of my colleagues and myself are passionate about these appeals which both newspapers kicked off again earlier this month and will wrap up on Friday.
Tauranga Foodbank manager Nicki Goodwin says the demand for food parcels has increased by 45 per cent in the three months, with a jump in the number of people directly approaching the foodbank.
Meanwhile, it gave out 5578 food parcels to 15,636 people in the past 12 months.
Rotorua Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye says it has supported more than 600 families and provided about 200 food parcels to those in need every quarter.
She says, ''Having the foodbank in the town is very important because no one needs to go hungry.''
So I encourage anyone or any business who can afford to donate to do so. Every little bit counts.
But more importantly, I encourage those who need help to step forward because there are some amazing organisations in our region who can offer assistance.
There is no shame in letting someone give you a hand up.