Kathy Wilkinson is no stranger to St. Phillips in the Hills. Walking into their main lobby, she asked how their food pantry volunteers were doing, just like friends.

Their volunteers exchanged a smile with her, knowing her by name because shes gone to the food pantry once a week for the past month.

I dont have enough money to go to the grocery store and buy a lot of food, Wilkinson said.

After getting health problems, she was forced to retire, which didnt leave her with a lot of money.

Shes just one of the over 660 visits the church has already gotten this year at their food pantry as of October 10 and theyre expecting more. They said last year they got over 640 total visits, so this years visits have already exceeded last years.

Kiki Cheney, the churchs communications and welcome associate said that could be because of pay not keeping up and inflation.

We have very generous parishioners and we have not ever had a problem where we couldnt meet the demand, Cheney said.

To meet that demand, she said they have a monthly food drive and use monetary donations to buy food their clients ask for.

Clients are able to come once a week on either Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. and they also offer pet food.

Jeffrey and Victoria Gibson are a few of those clients that come every week. On Tuesdays, they go to up to five food pantries and banks in a day.

However, the food they get is mostly for other people, saying they distribute and cook the food for others in their neighborhood and eat the rest of what is left.

Theres a lot of people who dont have transportation or are elderly, are not able to get out of their homes, Victoria Gibson said.

Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has also seen a rise in people coming, and said in the past fiscal year they handed out over 65 thousand more emergency food boxes than the previous year.

Similarly, Interfaith Community Services food bank said they served about 10 thousand more people in the past 3 years.

For the people that do go to the St. Phillips in the Hills food pantry like Wilkinson and the Gibsons, the food they do get is the lifeline they and others need to keep on going.

You cant just care about yourself. Thats not how it works, Wilkinson said while Jeffrey Gibson said Its almost better to be able to bless instead of to have to be blessed.