Food banks around the country are seeing long lines once more as Americans impacted by inflation are overwhelmed.
With inflation at a 40-year high, many are looking for aid for the first time and food banks are struggling to meet demand.
Charitable food distribution has exceeded any amounts given out before the COVID-19 pandemic, although there was some relief last year.
Hundreds of families were lined up in cars outside St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona.
The food bank said its main distribution center provided packages to 4,271 families during the third week in June.
That number marks a nearly 80% increase over the same week in 2021.
Distribution by California's Alameda County Community Food Bank has also risen this summer and Texas' Houston Food Bank now gives out an average of 610,000 pounds.
In Southern California, the Los Angeles bank gave away around 30 million pounds of food during the first three months of this year, far more than the 22 million pounds passed out during the first quarter of 2020.
A spokesperson said that was up from 500,000 daily pounds before the pandemic.
Feeding America is calling on the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to reinstate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of commodities lost after the ending of several temporary food programs.
"There is a critical need for the public sector to purchase more food now," said Katie Fitzgerald, president and chief operating officer for the national food bank network, said.
The group shows that more than 53 million people received help from food banks and food pantries in 2021 – or one-third more than before the pandemic.
Food prices have risen by more than 10% in the last twelve months and a Feeding America food bank survey earlier this year showed that 80% of food banks were reporting either an increase or steady demand for emergency food services.
The USDA noted the agency is using $400 million from the Build Back Better initiative to buy food from local, regional and underserved producers that can be given to food banks, schools and other feeding programs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.