Each holiday season, we are reminded to be thankful for what we have and to help those who are in need, but this year,it seems that the latter is taking a back seat.
For 52 years, Inter-Faith Wichita has provided thousands of families with meals through their Operation Holiday program. But this year, donations are lacking and with only one week left of collections, they're hoping people will get into the giving spirit.
The food on the tables at Operation Holiday has to feed thirteen thousand four hundred people. But if nothing changes, some of those recipients will be walking away empty handed.
"Right now I have 11,500 items, so it's not even one item per person at this point," said Director of Operation Holiday Laveta Noble.
With distribution beginning just one week from today, there are still a number of empty spots on tables.
"The donations are coming in really slow right now, we're at about 10 percent of where we would like to be next week," Noble said.
At the Kansas Food Bank, some of the same is being seen.
"Donations are down a little bit, not a whole lot, about ten percent," said Kansas Food Bank President and CEO Brian Walker.
While donations are down, the biggest change at the Kansas Food Bank is demand, which has gone up by about 20 percent.
"The increase in demand is what's hurting us," Walker said. "Local donations, like food drives and stuff are still pretty strong, but that's what's keeping us supplied with food this holiday season."
Both organizations think that weather might be a factor.
"Most people donate this time of year, which we're very grateful for, but it may not be crossing their mind because when it's 70 degrees outside," Walker said.
"When it's warmer outside, we don't think about the Christmas holiday yet," Noble said.
Regardless of how it feels outside, the holidays are still approaching, and people are still in need.
"Certainly the Wichita community has always stepped up to help their neighbors in need and we know they'll do that again this year," Walker said. "Let's hope for some snow, get some people in the holiday spirit, and get them thinking to feed hungry people."
If you would like to give to operation holiday, you can drop off donations at any Walmart, Dillons, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and also the warehouse at 2021 N. Amidon.
Items needed include cereal, canned fruit, tuna and peanut butter.
The organization will begin distributions on December 13th.