Food banks across Arizona have run into a similar roadblock during a summer that’s been tougher than most: Donations have plummeted and demand has skyrocketed.

Ed Baker, president of the Tempe Community Action Agency, said he can’t remember a time when the food bank has been in such dire need of food and supplies. The agency’s shelves were empty, and he said they feared they would have to start turning people away. 

“It’s kind of just been a perfect storm this year,” Baker said. “We are literally out of food.”

He turned to the community for help, and on Saturday morning they came through — with 6,000 pounds of donated food. 

Board members at the Tempe Community Action Agency, a non-profit assisting those in need of food and shelter, organized a food drive at Daley Park in Tempe on short notice.

Normally, the agency can turn monetary donations into food, which it buys in bulk from the United Food Bank.

“But even their inventory is low right now,” Baker said.

The drive, held from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday, saw a steady stream of cars throughout the morning as families from across the East Valley stopped by with bags of food. Some emptied entire trunk loads of canned food and nonperishables.

With each donation, volunteer Heidi Heister was waiting to weigh the food and thank the family for their generosity. Then, workers from Get Your Move On moving company, who volunteered their time for the drive, loaded the truck, one can at a time.

Hundreds of cans of Green Giant…