SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Times are tough, and a weekly visit to the grocery store is becoming more expensive.

“We’ve got inflation, we’ve got rising costs for gasoline for instance. Families have to make hard choices,” says Joe Allegro, Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships, Feed the Children.

Many of those families live here in the Syracuse area and the need for necessities continues to grow. While it fluctuates every year, roughly 20 percent of Syracuse families are food insecure.

“Right now we’re at the peak need. We’re here to help those families,” says Allegro.

That’s exactly what Feed The Children is doing by teaming up with the grocery store chain, Price Rite Marketplace and other organizations by holding a food distribution in the city of Syracuse on Thursday. 400 pre-selected local families in Syracuse received a 25-pound box of food, a 15-pound box of essentials, including shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other personal care items.

“They’ll have about a week to two weeks of food to last them. So we’re not going to end childhood hunger here today or hunger for families but we will have interim relief spot for them,” says Allegro.

In addition to the box of food and personal items, families were given a backpack full of brand new school supplies.

Allegro added, “Education is a way out of poverty. So hopefully a lot of these families here today will have a leg up when the kids start the school year which has started.”

They’ll now have fresh school supplies and a fully belly.

“Its a little bit of hope and a little bit of relief and I think we’re here to help out that 20 percent of Syracuse that’s really affected pretty hardly,” says Allegro.

This is the eighth year Feed the Children and Price Rite have teamed up to help distribute food to Syracuse families.