The increase in the cost of living has led to a surge in the number of people using foodbanks, a charity said.
Cocoa Fowler, founder of Peterborough charity Food for Nought, which supplies foodbanks, said the need had been "doubling weekly".
Cambridgeshire businessman Brian Jones said overheads were up 15% due to rising energy costs.
The government said it was helping through the Energy Bills Rebate, cutting £350 from most household bills. It said it was also cutting £150 from council tax bills for those living in council tax bands A to D.
With living costs rising at their fastest rate for 30 years, with fuel, food and energy prices soaring, increased taxation and inflation, BBC Politics East talked to people in Peterborough and Milton Keynes - both facing local elections next week.
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