Non-Profits Pleading for Holiday Help

Friday, Nov 21, 2008  |  Updated 4:15 PM PDT
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Non-Profits Pleading for Holiday Help

Shelves are bare just one week before Thanksgiving at local food banks.

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The food pantry at the Salvation Army in El Cajon is filled with bare spots.

The director says in his five years there, the need has never been this dire.

"It's very bad right now.  The need is greater than ever in the last five years in East County. We are seeing an unprecedented number of families needing help," said Capt. Darren Norton.

The organization is signing up families who need help with holiday toys and meals. Last year, nearly 1,200 families were helped. This year, the first day of sign-up yielded 560 families, a 50 percent increase.

The organization estimates it needs $50,000 in the next few weeks to fulfill the Christmas need.  The annual Red Kettle Campaign kicked off Friday.

The San Diego Food Bank is getting ready for Thanksgiving. The organization says it's experiencing a donation crisis. Supplies are down to just seven weeks. 

"Our supplies are running dangerously low. As a state registered emergency response body we maintain a three month supply of donated food in the event of a catastrophic disaster requiring us to feed the county, but the surge in demand is depleting the supply, " said CEO Scody Hage.

The Food Bank is holding a huge fundraiser this Sunday at Qualcomm stadium during the Chargers vs. Colts game.

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