Driving up to Interfaith Community Services food bank, Liliana felt a sigh of relief getting food that she knew would help her wallet. Her expenses were high during the holidays, and getting food at the food bank has been something shes been doing for the past few months.

It is helping me a lot to reduce the expenses from groceries, Liliana, who didnt want to give out her last name, said.

Grocery prices are also going up for the food bank. Their CEO Tom McKinney said groceries were more expensive in fiscal year 2022-2023 than the previous fiscal year.

Thats why the donations are helpful. Even cash donations help, but still then weve got to buy it and its at a higher price.

He said food donations were down 100 thousand pounds this holiday season compared to 2022s, going from 350 thousand pounds to 250 thousand. He also said overall they saw 6 thousand more people last fiscal year compared to the previous year. They went from about 49 thousand people needing services in the 2021-2022 fiscal year to 55 thousand people needing their services in fiscal year 2022-2023.

Inflationpeople still getting back on their feet because of the pandemic, he said when asked about the reason they could be seeing more people.

He said its big organizations like St. Albans Episcopal church and Catalina Foothills High School that have helped with donations. He also said KGUN9s coverage over the past year has helped bring attention to the need for donations.

They are planning to expand the drive through at their food bank and McKinney said by September theyre hoping to add a food truck on the south side.

Its people like Liliana, who has been coming for the past few months, that the donations are helping.

Help is available so there is no bad thing. Just ask for help, she said.