Rising Food Insecurity: Double-Income Earners Struggle for Basic Needs in Christchurch

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 27, 2023 |

The Christchurch City Mission is providing around 200 more food parcels a month, compared to this time last year.

Not only has the demand increased, but the clientele has changed, which sees some of those who have donated to in the past, now needing help on the other end.

Social Services Manager Zucchi Leonard says food insecurity in communities is changing with an increase in the number of double income earners struggling to afford food after paying bills, interest rates, mortgage repayments and insurances.

“For the last five months we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of new clients compared to this time last year and that’s consistent, month on month,” she says.

“They’re the ‘working poor’ and we’ve definitely seen an increase. For some families, they’ve actually donated food to the City Mission in previous years, but now they’re having to come in and ask for help.”

The stark reality is that it’s not just the most vulnerable in the community that need food support anymore, she says, and any judgement or prejudice needs to be thrown out the window.

“This could be the teacher that’s teaching your kids or grandkids at the local school, who’s married to the mechanic that’s fixing your car.

“They’re both earning but not massively, they’ve got mortgages and increasing interest rates and they’re trying their best to get ahead but they’ve had bills come in and they can’t afford food.”

When people come in and ask for food, they’re at crisis point and it’s a huge step, she says.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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