Increased prices has meant at least two trolleys less of weekly produce for a food bank which is seeing demand rise from more people - including soldiers and frontline staff - as the cost of living crisis continues.
People trying to heat their homes with pay as you go meters are "being hammered", according to Ashling Lowe of the Meath Food Bank.
Ms Lowe said elderly people are now sitting in the dark or going to bed early to save on electricity and gas.
The Navan based service has helped over 3,500 people over the pandemic but Ashling, who has run the Food Bank for the last six years, believes the squeeze is getting tighter for a lot of people - including the organisation.
"We did a weekly shop today to cover the essentials for six families which set us back €500 and that's not a full weekly shop for these families by any means," she said.
"Last year we would have filled three or four trolleys with food for that, but today we filled two with produce that would have cost in the region of €370 back then.
"Baby food, canned foods and bits for kids lunches like jars of jam and peanut butter have all shot up. To some, 30 or 40 cent might not mean a lot, but when you have a whole trolley full of those extra 30 or 40 cents which are paid for by donations, it all adds up.
"Nearly every family we help has a toddler or a baby and most only ask for help around the time their rent is due. I know to expect this by now and so stock up on size five nappies or SMA or whatever will be needed.
"I've also learned to look at offers going in all supermarkets and mix and match on value and bargains in order to stretch the money that I have from generous donors.
"People on the pay as you go meters are being hammered. I understand that myself. I put €70 in the electricity meter two days ago and have €38.90 left, and I can't keep up with the gas, so I know how things are for people and their families who are really struggling.
Some elderly people, including over ten retired soldiers who I help, are telling me that they are going to bed really early to keep warm or sitting in the dark at the night because they are worrying the whole time on how they are going to pay the next bill.
"I'm helping working people and frontline staff who just need a bit of help to get through the week. They are paying taxes but can't afford a proper dinner after a long day at work.
"The pressure on people is enormous, and I'm seeing it every day and taking calls from people who just need someone to tell them, it will be ok.
"But will it be ok? I don't think anyone should be too poor to live, but that's what the reality for many is."