Even with the economy starting to recover, the need for help during the holidays is still on the rise.
Many local nonprofits are seeing huge increases in calls for help in providing gifts and meals during the holiday season, and in some cases the donations have not been able to keep up.
"We're seeing more middle-income families who are needing to find some way to provide assistance to their children for Christmas. Here in Clarksville, we are about 300 to 350 families more than in previous years," said Lt. Christopher Coulson, with the Salvation Army.
The good news for many families in Clarksville is all of the Salvation Army angels have been adopted, and last weekend a tradition continued when an anonymous donor dropped a gold coin in a Salvation Army red kettle.
"We are just so grateful for what we call our 'secret angel' who appears every year to give a gold coin, which through the years has actually gained value," Coulson said.
In Nashville, the Second Harvest Food Bank took a delivery Friday of 90,000 pounds of food donated from Lee Company employees and customers.
"It's purposeful. It honors God, and that's what we're all about," said Gerry Vance, with Lee Company.
Community groups say the need to help hungry people in Middle Tennessee went up in 2008 and has not gone back down.
"The need is not decreasing, but the food resources and our financial resources are not keeping pace with that demand. So we're trying to do more with less," said Tasha Kennard, vice president of Second Harvest Food Bank.
Second Harvest's goal is to fulfill 10 million meals by the end of the year.
"Unfortunately, we've only raised a little over 5 million meals at this point, so we're trying to meet that goal by Dec. 31," Kennard said.
While there is still time to donate for the holidays, local nonprofits say the need is there all year round.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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