The soaring cost of living has resulted in more south-west residents seeking help from Warrnambool and District Food Share.
Chief executive officer Amanda Hennessy said there had been a 30 per cent increase in the number of emergency hampers provided across the region in the first three months of 2022.
Ms Hennessy said there were 1406 hampers provided to people in need from January to March in 2021, while there were 1905 given out in the same period this year.
Her comments come as the latest Consumer Price Index data shows the price of food recorded the highest year on year rise in more than 10 years.
Food prices in the March 2022 quarter increased by 4.3 per cent from the same time last year.
"We're trending upwards this year," Ms Hennessy said.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic and the high cost of living were resulting in higher number of people finding it hard to make ends meet.
The rising cost of food also has an impact on the service's ability to purchase certain products for the hampers.
"We have to think strategically about what products we will purchase for the hampers," she said.
"We're still getting supplies from our not-for-profit partners, which is fabulous."
The Standard has been tracking the cost of petrol, diesel and household items for the past month.
The cost of petrol has steadily declined after the federal government slashed the fuel excise for six months.
On March 23, Warrnambool motorists were paying an average of 199.9 cents per litre at the bowser for unleaded and 209.9 cents per litre for diesel.
On Wednesday, the average price for petrol had reduced by over 20 cents - with an average of 173.9 cents per litre, while diesel was selling for 187.9 cents per litre.
Comparisons between Woolworths and Coles show while the price of most staple items had not fluctuated too much over the past month, there are some which are worth shopping around for.
The price of a Woolworths 500 gram packet of unsalted butter has remained at $5, while the cost of a 500 gram packet of pasta has decreased from $1.25 on March 23 to $1 on May 27.
Similarly a loaf of white bread at Coles has stayed at the same price ($1.70) and the cost of a 1 kilogram packet of white rice has remained at $1.40.
However, items including coffee can vary depending on specials, while the cost of chicken has ranged from $13.50 to $10 a kilogram.
A slab of Victoria Bitter beer has varied over the weeks from $54 to $49 and nappies are an item buyers are advised to buy on special.
Rabobank analyst Michael Harvey warned consumers should brace for further food price rises in the coming months, as the impacts of higher transport costs, supply chain disruptions and other increased input costs make their way through the system.
"This is the highest year-on-year increase in food price inflation since 2011," Mr Harvey said.
"Horticulture was a major contributor to the food inflation recorded - vegetables (6.6 per cent) and fruit (4.9 per cent) prices higher year-on-year," he said.
"Higher cost of meat, seafood and dairy were also significant contributors to food price inflation in the quarter."
Meanwhile, Everybody's Home spokesperson Kate Colvin said soaring housing costs was central to the cost-of-living crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgent priority.
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