For the past six years, 86-year-old Clelia Ibello has been going to food banks and stocking up the two fridges she has outside with the food she gets. Shes living on social security and the food helps her budget.
I have a hard time walking but I push myself in going because I know that tomorrow maybe I dont have the food. I cant afford to buy it in the store because now its outraging, she said.
Ibello used to go to Interfaith Community Services mobile food bank where she met KGUN9 reporter Andrew Christiansen, but now she goes to food banks around Tucson.
However, she doesnt just get food for herself. She also gives food to her neighbors and cooks it for them too.
They need it too. Theyre in the same situation I am, Ibello said.
Interfaith Community Services said theyre seeing more people like Ibello, saying in September 2021 they served 2,700 people. In September 2022 they served 3,200 and this year that number went up to four thousand.
Their CEO Tony McKinney said prices for food like peanut butter have gone up almost double and he said their food donations have gone down a quarter of a million pounds since last year.
KGUN9 Reporter Andrew Christiansen spoke with him in February and last December, and theyre still having the same issues.
Were trying to get to where people can give food and not have to drive here to do it, so make it a little more convenient, McKinney said.
He said theyre also doing more food drives and asking for more money.
Catalina Foothills High School is doing a food drive called the Food Fight and are competing with Salpointe Catholic High School to see who can raise the most money. Even though students and staff are donating, anyone can donate this week at the front office.
Theres a lot of people in our community right now suffering especially with the holidays coming up and the prices of the food and so were just hoping that this event not only encourages our students but also people in our community, junior representative Lauren Thompson said.
That community shes talking about is full of people like Ibello and her neighbors, who rely on the food.
If I help somebody and somebody helps me, maybe someday somebodys going to help me, Ibello said.