JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With Thanksgiving just around the corner, area food banks are putting in extra hours getting ready for the holiday demand.
Many families in the area wouldn't even have a Thanksgiving dinner if it weren't for food banks, but those organizations won't be able to supply them without donations, particularly of turkeys.
The Salvation Army will provide meals to about 1,500 low-income families and homeless people in Jacksonville this Thanksgiving, and it needs your help.
Right now it has about 1,000 turkeys, so it needs 500 more.
"Otherwise they might not be able to have a Thanksgiving meal, and that's what America is about is giving thanks for the blessings that we have," said Paul Stasi, of the Salvation Army.
It's not just turkeys needed, but sides, too.
"We can always use the canned goods because what we're doing is, we want to give them a nice food box of all the fixings for a nice Thanksgiving meal for their family size," Stasi said.
One of the best ways to contribute to the Salvation Army is through a monetary donation because the organization can buy the sides in bulk.
Not everyone carries cash, so there's a solution. Go to OnlineRedKettle.org to contribute to a kettle of your choice, whether it's someone you know or a celebrity like Selena Gomez who has a digital red kettle set up.
You can also create your own red kettle and get people to donate to it.
"It opens up a whole new market, especially in today's society, when fewer and fewer of us are carrying cash around," Stasi said.
There are other charities around town needing donations as well. The Mandarin Food Bank, Clara White Mission, and Second Harvest Food Bank combined will provide meals to more than 4,000 people this Thanksgiving.
Mandarin Food Bank will take cash or food donations in person at its facility at 11730 Old St Augustine Road. It will pick up large donations.
Clara White Mission is looking for money and turkeys. It'll accept contributions online, or turkeys can be dropped off at the mission at 613 W. Ashley St.
Second Harvest Food Bank will take donations online, by mail or in person at its warehouse at 1502 Jessie St. It's also looking for volunteers.
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