While many people are buying up big for Christmas, others wonder where they’re going to get their next meal.

Uniting Wyndham is calling on locals to dig deep and donate non-perishable food for its annual Food for Families appeal to help families doing it tough.

Demand for emergency relief from Uniting Wyndham in December almost doubles from 250 in other months to about 400, with single parents in particular struggling.

Uniting chief executive Paul Linossier said rising living costs and a lack of affordable housing drove increased demand for help.

“That’s why we need to collect more food than ever before, to ensure we can provide this essential lifeline for every single person that comes to us for help,” Mr Linossier said. “Donating something as simple as two-minute noodles, which we ran out of months ago, can have a big impact. People sleeping rough find them invaluable as they can be filled with hot water from petrol stations.”

Werribee volunteer Susanne is doing her bit by helping to pack care parcels with the food donated. Susanne, who has volunteered with Uniting Wyndham for nearly two years, is coming in an extra day each week to help out.

“I’d rather give than receive,” she said.

“One little boy said to me, ‘God bless you’, and it melted my heart.”

Details: givealittle.org.au/food-for-families