ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. -

Since it opened two months ago, Tri-Cities Help, Incorporated has seen the demand for its food hand-outs go way up.

Director Becca Hanzel says the pantry is now serving over five hundred families and giving out nearly a ton of food every day when it's in stock.

She says her food program works on a point system depending on a family's size and income and it encourages a healthier way of eating. "It's like a shopping experience," Hanzel said. "It's not like a regular pantry that's just here's your box. They get to choose what they want and they get the foods that they like and the lower the points on the product, the more nutritional value it has."

Tri-Cities Help, Inc. is located at 1180 Old Bristol Highway in the Biltmore section of Elizabethton. It's open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.