The number of Arizona families asking for food boxes is increasing significantly, charity groups say.
Workers with the Association of Arizona Food Banks say there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of people asking for emergency food in the past year.
St. Vincent de Paul officials say they are seeing a similar increase in people asking for a box of staples to get them to the next paycheck.
"It's never been like this before," said Susan de Queljoe of St. Vincent de Paul, a charity serving the homeless and poor from Phoenix to Flagstaff.
"We're seeing more people than ever before asking for help in feeding their children."
With demand for food increasing, relief organizations say their supplies have remained steady but they're also faced with a tight economy along with rising food and fuel costs.
To stretch their resources, food banks may put a little bit less in each food box or they may limit the number of boxes a family can receive in a period of time.
The people requesting food boxes say they have no other choice.
"I've never asked for help before," said Christian Logothetis, 26. "It was hard for me. I felt like I wasn't a good provider for my family. But I have a daughter, and she comes first."
The Phoenix resident said he was working for Starbucks and getting by just fine before his hours began to shrink.
Logothetis says he quit working because it cost him more to have somebody watch his 3-year-old daughter.
The emergency-food box he received from St. Vincent de Paul got him through this month, he said.
"I don't think we would have made it without it," he said. "I've never been in a position like this."