BRIDGEPORT - Volunteers stocked up thousands of bins Saturday afternoon to bring a special surprise to families in need.

At a warehouse on Seaview Avenue, volunteers working with nonprofit group Al's Angels filled bins with food and other supplies for families across southwestern Connecticut who are in need this holiday season.

Each bin contained about $100 worth of groceries.

Organizers say the food will go to more than 1,600 families battling cancer, rare blood diseases or financial hardship.

"We're incredibly blessed to have all these people here who do the work that we've done, but we know there's a tremendous amount of work that we still can do," says Al's Angels founder Al DiGuido.  

Organizers say they will pass out the materials later this week to 3,000 families across southwestern Connecticut.

This is the 17th year that Al's Angels has provided food and gifts for families in need.