KENNEWICK, Wash. - Local food banks will help thousands of people this year and thanks to a struggling economy the face of hunger continues to change.
One Tri-Cities mother said she relies on the local food banks to feed her family of four while she struggles to get by.
The food that comes in to the Tri-Cities food banks won't stay there for long. More than 15,000 people will be helped this holiday season.
Mary Swart is one of those people. She's divorced and has three children. She works as a janitor and depends on the food bank to keep her family healthy and not hungry.
"It's very hard to know it's out of your control sometimes when you don't have a very good job and you don't have a lot of money but it's nice to know that you have that for your kids every single day, food for yourself and not have to worry about that," Swart said.
Swart gets food from the food bank once a month, when food stamps will only buy so much.
"I've had to use a food bank for a while and it's really sad, but it also makes me feel better because I know that if I have this experience when I'm doing better in my life that I can give back," Swart said.
Until Swart finds herself on the other side of the donation line, she wants others to know every contribution makes an impact.
"When they donate a couple cans here, a couple cans there, it adds up and I wish more people would do that so that they can be more supplied at the food banks," Swart said.
Even if people can't see who benefits from the food they give, Swart wants them to know it makes a difference.
"I wish I could tell each and every one of them thank you because it really does make a difference on everybody whether they say thank you or not, they mean it," Swart said.