Donations down, need up this holiday season

By Jill Eichorn - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The economy has social services agencies scrambling just weeks before the holidays ring in.

The Freestore Foodbank announced it needs an additional $100,000 this year because they're expecting record numbers of people who need their services.

The Freestore Foodbank is bracing for a record-breaking year, not in terms of donations, but for the number of families they'll help this holiday season.

"We will feed more than 16,000 families and as a result we've raised our fundraising goal this year by $100,000 to $1.5 million," said John Young with the Freestore Foodbank.

They say in just two years, the need for food assistance jumped 55 percent, and now they're seeing more two-income families who struggle.

Some companies like Charter One bank have raised money to help out.

"Right now the growing number of people on the fringe is on the high point since the past couple dozen years and we think it's a very worthwhile cause," said Mike Harrison with Charter One.

The growing need for more public help doesn't just stop with food. All around the Tri-State, many social service groups say this year they're trying to keep up with the demand."

The Salvation Army has 125 fewer sponsors signed up this year to purchase Christmas gifts for the Adopt-a-Family program.

"We have presently 145 sponsors but we have over 300 families waiting to be adopted," said Donna McCullough with the Salvation Army.

Some of the Freestore Foodbank's clients like Kenneth Harris remain hopeful that people will pull through once again.

"I'm not worried about it because Cincinnati's a real good city, in my opinion," Harris said. "Everybody will chip in and help out."