$3 a week couple fight back: 'We genuinely need help'
A Tuakau couple are fighting back against claims they are "scammers" - after their plea for food went public on Wednesday.
As offers of food flooded in from around the country, and overseas, members of the community questioned whether they were in genuine need on a local community Facebook page.
Scott Spencer and fiancee Katherine Hart have since admitted they received a $165,955 inheritance payment in December 2014 from Hart's father - but the money is all gone.
"We are in genuine need. We genuinely need help," Spencer said.
"I spent $20,000 on a car that I can't afford to run. We spent $40,000 on legal fees...We had expensive trips around the country; and me coming out of work, we had to live off it."
Hart said the couple lived off the money for seven months last year.
"Then there's my medical bills and we paid off a lot of debt - some of the major debts anyway."
Hart suffers from diabetes, a blood clotting disorder and has a tumour in her adrenal gland.
Because of the couple's financial situation, Hart has been skipping vital specialist appointments.
"I'm risking my life basically. But we can't afford petrol for the car and there's not enough for the rego. We are quite happy to show anyone bank statements or evidence to back it up."
Spencer said his mental health issues had played in a role in him struggling to maintain employment.
He suffers from depressive disorders and In 2011, was convicted for drug possession.
"I've made bad choices and it's my fault we are in this situation. But since then I haven't had a brush with the law."
The couple said they had learnt a lot from their experience and that Budgeting and Family Support Services in Tuakau had been a huge help.
"The financial literacy classes have been amazing," Hart said.
"We have learnt so much about finance and what not to do."
They urged anyone wanting to help to contact Budgeting and Family Support Services in Tuakau.