PHOENIX — Volunteers with United Food Bank passed out holiday food boxes to hundreds of families on Wednesday morning.
Organizers expected up to 2,000 people to receive help and said the number is less than in 2020 when many Arizonans were out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tyson Nansel, who serves as the non-profit's vice-president, said that this year they are seeing more people impacted by the rising prices of essentials.
"People are coming to the food bank because we're hearing of the cost of food, the cost of living, the cost of gas has just gone up significantly," he said.
Nansel said many of the people who receive help are working families. The first arrivals came before 5 a.m., more than four hours before the scheduled start.
"A lot of them were coming to get food to be able to take it back home, and then go to their job. That's why they were here so early so they can be first in line," he said.
People who were not able to make the event can still receive help by going to Unitedfoodbank.org.
United Food Bank which provides food for 150 pantries in the East Valley and across Eastern Arizona, holds large-scale drive-through events annually for Thanksgiving and Christmas.