The Food Bank of Western New York has seen an 11 percent increase in the number of families it serves over the past year.
The Food Bank's Public & Community Relations Coordinator, Catherine Shick says, on average the agency serves about 44,000 families a month in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.
"It really has spread. It's not just in the city anymore. We serve a lot of rural communities and suburban communities as well. So hunger isn't just an inner city problem," Shick said.
To help meet holiday demand, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, State Senator Tim Kennedy and a half-dozen volunteers from M&T Bank took time on Friday to help sort donations.
"The beauty of volunteers is that we can keep our overhead costs low. So we couldn't do what we do without the help of volunteers," Shick said.
The Food Bank has 329 member agencies across the region including food pantries, senior centers, homeless shelters and after school programs.