The charity St Vincent de Paul says calls for help are already up 20% from last year.
The charity is launching its pre-budget submission on Wednesday.
It is calling on the Government to increase weekly social welfare rates by €20.
And it says the Fuel Allowance payment should be increased by €15 a week, and expanded to 32 weeks.
Last year SVP says it received 191,000 requests for help, and provided assistance to the tune of €14.6m for people who could not afford food.
While some €4.7m was given in supporting access to education, and €4.1m for those struggling with their utility costs.
SVP research and policy Officer Issy Petrie says for a lot of people, it is the first time they've had to reach out.
"We absolutely are seeing people coming to us for the first time.
"People who maybe wouldn't have been struggling before, they would have been just about managing.
"But now faced with rising costs - whether that's their energy, whether that's transport, running a car - they may have a bill come in that they simply can't pay.
"Or they're finding that their food budget that used to just about cover their costs isn't going far enough and they're really having to prioritise and cut back."
She says the Government needs to focus on those with low incomes.
"It's really critical that in this upcoming budget, resources are directed towards people who are on low and fixed incomes - otherwise, we're going to see more people pulled into poverty.
"We are really calling on the Government to recognise the urgency of the situation and provide a sustained solution throughout the year, so that people know that they have the income supports that they're going to need".
Additional reporting: Fiona Cooney