OMAHA (KPTM)- As the holiday season gets a little closer turkeys are in high demand, especially for those in need. But donations aren't keeping up. Shelves are empty at the Open Door Mission. Typically around this time of the year they're full, but not this year.
Donations are down, but the need is the same. Thousands of families this thanksgiving won't have a home cooked turkey dinner.
"For someone who is trying to stretch their dollar they can't afford to go out and buy 15-20 pound turkey and all the fixings that go with it. I mean you're looking at 30 to 40 dollars and a lot of them can't afford to spend that much on a meal," James Cummings said.
The problem isn't just a lack of donations. The Open Door Mission is helping more families than usual.
"We're seeing about a 37 percent increase in our services compared to this time last year."
Right now the Open Door Mission only has corn and dressing available. Last year members served about four thousand families, this year they're expecting five. thousand."
"Everybody wants to be able to sit down on Thanksgiving morning, think what it's like to have a turkey and fixings and think what it'd be like if you woke up on Thanksgiving morning and you didn't have that. You looked in the cupboard, the cupboard was bare and you look in your fridge, there was no turkey in there."
Thanksgiving donations are not the only need, there's also Christmas and the Food Bank of the Heartland says all contributions have lowered which will be a problem later on in the year.
"If somebody is going hungry during Thanksgiving and Christmas the chances are pretty good that they're also going hungry in April, May, June. That's why it's so critical that we receive assistance," Brian Barks said.
If you'd like to help staff from the Open Door Mission will be accepting donations at all Omaha and Council Bluffs Hy-Vee stores on Friday, November 2nd.
You can also donate online at the Food Bank's website.