Each week, the Community Food Pantry of Benson distributes more than 800 food boxes to people who rely on their services.

The number of families in need of food supplies has reached a level not seen since the height of the pandemic, said Najayyah Many Horses, president of the pantry.

We are all in this together, Many Horses said. Were all doing the same thing, trying to feed the community.

Food pantries are having a hard time keeping up with demand, especially in more rural parts of the county.

For that reason, Cochise County food banks have joined forces, and are currently in the middle of a county-wide food drive, running through Sunday, June 25.

Donation boxes have been set up at courts, health departments, local businesses and other public locations throughout the county.

Think about it, said Toney King, Benson city council member. If everybody, 120,000 people in Cochise County, donated three cans, think about how many people we can feed. We can feed just about everybody that we need to feed.

Food collected in each town and city will be distributed to food banks and pantries within that same city.

Desired food items include, canned goods, boxed good, dry goods and grocery items, such as peanut butter, jelly, powdered drink milk and cooking oil.

Items not wanted: expired items, damaged items, glass items, used items and perishables.

The county-wide food drive ends Sunday, but there are plans for another drive later this year.

After COVID, the numbers went down some, and they are starting to rise again, Many Horses said. So, we need to be here. We dont want to see anyone go hungry.