Foodbanks say struggling families are requesting emergency food parcels on a weekly basis, putting the services under unprecedented pressure.
Statistics issued on Wednesday show food prices have risen 7.5% in the past year. Other costs like power and petrol are also going up.
The Salvation Army says it gave about 35,000 food parcels in the first six months of the year, compared to 53,000 for the whole of last year.
Auckland City Mission says families are regularly relying on food parcels that are intended for emergencies.
Wellington City Mission says beneficiaries are struggling because their benefits have not risen in line with expenses like power, rent, food and petrol.