More than four food parcels per day are expected to be needed during the winter as Whanganui families struggle to grapple with costs.

The Wanganui City Corps of the Salvation Army is again asking for food donations as part of the annual Food Rescue Winter Appeal.

The branch's Community Ministries Manager, Pikihuia Box, said they had been trying to hold back on giving out too many parcels before demand peaked.

"Knowing there is going to be an increase in the winter season we have had to try to pull back on the number of food parcels that we've released in order to build up our resources," she said.

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But she was confident they would have enough for those in need.

"The community is really amazing at coming forth with those donations so we have been able to restock after the Christmas period and prepare ourselves for the winter season."

Box thought the increase in demand over winter was because of increased power bills.

"I'm not too sure what will happen this year because there's been a winter package put out through MSD [Ministry of Social Development]. So to help support people through the winter season … they get an increase in their benefit.

"It really is a wait and see game.

"Then there's the unexpected bills like families having to fork out for winter clothing for their children and things like that … there's a number of things that will hit people financially."

The Salvation Army said food in demand included fresh and frozen meat, root vegetables and frozen vegetables, tinned goods, dairy products and hygiene products.

If people wish to donate they can drop items off at the Salvation Army's office on Indus Street or at the purple 'Food Rescue' bins at Countdown stores in Whanganui.