This holiday season the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is opening its doors each morning to lines of people waiting for emergency food boxes - a demand that a local businessman's family and other philanthropists will help meet.

"On some days it might be 100 people, and on other days it might be 300 waiting in line," said Bill Carnegie, CEO of the nonprofit food bank, 3003 S. Country Club Road.

To help, the (Jim) Click Family Foundation and philanthropists Jim and Sandy Peebles will match online contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000 total, Carnegie announced Wednesday.

"This will help us a lot because typically we raise more funds than the match," Carnegie said. "People hear about it and want to help."

For those interested in the Click and Peebles holiday challenge, an online donation can be made through Dec. 31 at

For every $1 donated, the food bank can distribute nearly $9 worth of food, Carnegie said.

"Even though the economy is improving, there are many underemployed individuals and people who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits," he said.

This year the food bank will be able to provide holiday food boxes, something it could not do last year.

January to November this year, the food bank handed out about 295,000 food boxes, feeding nearly 9,000 more people than last year, Carnegie said. He said of those served each month 40 percent are children, 28 percent are seniors and the rest are working poor.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at or 573-4104.