Sunshine Mission is putting out an urgent call for donations following an alarming increase in the number of people requiring food.

Sunshine Mission manager Casey O’Brien said the problem has been exacerbated with Christmas looming.

“Across the board we’ve seen a 14 per cent rise in people requiring assistance from the year ending August 2017,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Christmas typically sees a lot of people facing financial hardship and this time of the year sees that number increased to about 20 per cent.

“The problem is particularly prevalent among females, pensioners and we’ve seen a rise in the number of New Zealanders requiring assistance too.”

This year the mission is once again taking part in the Food for Families appeal.

Mr O’Brien urged people to be mindful about what they donate.

“We’re really after staple foods like rice, pasta and tinned food.”

Donations can be made to the Sunshine Mission at 32 Withers Street, Sunshine.