'The work is harder': Food Bank facing challenges days before Thanksgiving

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The shelves aren't bare at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina headquarters, but staff certainly is feeling a squeeze ahead of Thanksgiving.

"The work is harder right now, for sure," said Food Bank spokesperson Jennifer Caslin.

The nonprofit is facing a few challenges, although it is on track to distribute about 100 million pounds of food this year.

There are supply-chain issues and 800 partner agencies are seeing about a 35% rise in people seeking help.

"It's definitely hard knowing that there are so many people. There's still almost 600,000 people out there, who are food insecure right now," said Caslin. "It's hard for them to get food, when it's hard for us to get food."

The food bank, like everyone else, is paying more for food and the gas needed to disburse goods across the state.

There were only a few boxes left of frozen turkeys at the Food Bank's freezer room. Most of them have already been shipped to agencies that will hand them out or prepare them for the holiday.

"The Raleigh Rescue Mission will cook the turkeys and then distribute plates or meals to the families," said Caslin.

Caslin, a 13-year employee of the Food Bank, says she's feeling hopeful as the days inch closer towards Thanksgiving.

"Our donors have been there for us throughout and I don't know what we would do if we didn't have that strong donor database, but thankfully we do," she said.

There are a few options to help.

You can make a monetary donation to the Food Bank and all donations are being matched until the end of the year.

You could also donate goods during the ABC11 Together Food Drive, which benefits the Food Bank.

It begins Saturday and runs through Dec. 8.

This year's goal is to provide 1.7 million meals.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.