Operation Feed the Need: Salvation Army gives away food, gifts to Phoenix residents in need

When you ask Phoenix resident Jody Ciptak how life has been, she won't sugarcoat it.

"It’s been very hard struggling every day not being able to provide food for myself," Ciptak said.

As thousands of Arizonans remain unemployed, with a quickly dwindling unemployment payment, the need to help families hasn't gone down.

In a drive-by giveaway, the Salvation Army handed out food to a thousand Phoenix residents on Sept. 12.

"Just makes you feel really blessed," Ciptak said. "Makes you feel like God cares and God loves us."

Residents received a variety of necessities on Saturday.

"Everything from canned goods, pasta produce, hair products, you name it," said Major Butch Frost with the Salvation Army. "They’re getting it today, and they’re going to be blessed, and we're going to be blessed by allowing this to happen."

More than a hundred volunteers worked all morning -- car by car, box by box -- to make a difference for a family.

"To see a family come through struggling to ... load a car up with food that they don’t have to purchase, to see the smiles -- it can’t help but bring a tear to your eye and warmth to your heart to know something good is happening," Frost said.

And the gift keeps giving. Arizonans needing a little help right now are still looking to pass on help themselves.

Robert Abbott was the first car lined up and waiting for the giveaway.

"Lot of people lost their jobs and [are] ... struggling to keep food on the table," said Abbott.

He says they’ll use what they can, but plan to then donate the extra to his church.

"If we can help we’re going for it," Abbott said.

Major Frost says the money for the water, food and gifts was possible because of a CARES Act grant from the city of Phoenix.

"Rent and utilities, car payments, clothing for your child to go to school - this just takes one burden off their shoulder for a day," Frost said.

Check out the Salvation Army Phoenix's website here.