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  • The Summer of Million Meals food drive, in partnership with the United Food Bank, is in full swing here at 12 News, and we need your help to feed the community.

    a group of people in a box? Provided by TEGNA Inc.

    For Karen Rodriguez, and her six kids, Anna-Sofia, James, Genny, Joshua, Elysia and Izzy—money can get tight fast. So coming to the United Food Bank is a must.?

    “It can be challenging, so United Food Bank really has been such a tremendous blessing for us,” Rodriguez said.

    Rodriguez is not alone, one in five people struggle with hunger in Arizona. Fact is, the United Food Bank feeds more than 1,200 families a month with their “Help Yourself Friday” program.

    a group of people in a box: United Food Bank? 12 News United Food Bank

    RELATED: Help feed hungry families for a Summer of a Million Meals

    Food bank director of external affairs Tyson Nansel says it’s why a food drive like Summer of A Million Meals is so important.

    "We want to make sure that we feed our hungry neighbors. Once you come to our food bank and our Help Yourself Fridays, you aren’t judged. We want to ensure that you go home with a cart full of food or a box full of food,” Nansel said.

    Rodriguez homeschools her six kids. She said she and her husband, who works for the TSA, were initially hesitant to come to the food bank. But once she got inside, the staff made her and her kids feel special.

    “I really care about the staff. They greet me by my name when I come in, and they’re so kind to the children. They give them stickers and fruit, so it makes it such a welcoming experience. On top of the food and the staff and how caring they are, it’s just overall such an amazing program," Rodriguez said.

    The Summer of a Million Meals runs through Labor Day, so there’s plenty of time to make an impact.

    If you’d like to make a donation, just head to azmillionmeals.org.

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