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Salvation Army to help 17000 people this Christmas

Photo: Tim Mossholder.

The Salvation Army is expecting about 17,000 people will seek help this festive season.

A survey commissioned by the organisation, released this morning, shows 23 percent of respondents cannot afford to celebrate Christmas, while 45 percent said they struggle financially over the festive season.

The survey had 1000 respondents.

Last year the organisation assisted 17,000 people in the lead up to Christmas.

Salvation Army head of welfare services Pam Waugh says this year the number would be the same, perhaps slightly more.

"As people gear up for Christmas, families get under stress, they start to think about what they can do to get their children through the Christmas time so we get people coming in a lot saying 'I need help' and how can we help them."

School holidays add to the financial stress for families, Pam says.

"The children need outings, they'll be hot over the summer time, the children want to get out to the pools or to the beach and they're home all day so they eat more food. So that puts the pressure on a family's budget."

Pam says the government's recently instated Families Package was a step in the right direction, but the positive effects would take some time to be actualised.

-RNZ.

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