Nov 15, 2010 7:11 PM by David Ortiviz

Agencies give free Thanksgiving meals to struggling families

Throughout Southern Colorado more families need help getting food this Thanksgiving. Our area's largest distributor of free food says demand is up about 26% from a year ago.

"This is the place to come when you're down on your luck or you need a hand up," said Marcie Reynolds, who runs the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center. Workers are the center are busy making holiday food sacks to fight hunger. They're asking for donated turkeys as they plan to feed roughly 5,000 people over the holidays.

"Up to this point to now, we've already served about 1,100 families," said Reynolds. The coop gets some of its food from Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs.

"One of the things we've been always trying to do is to provide turkeys," said Deborah Tuck, CEO of the Care and Share Food Bank.

Care and Share hopes to give away 6,000 turkeys plus the fixings this Thanksgiving to hundreds of non-profits in Southern Colorado, which also help those in need. The demand for help is up one fourth from last year. "We see the number of hungry families going up, especially the number of hungry kids," said Tuck.

Some families are also turning to churches for help. At Fellowship of the Rockies in Pueblo they've gathered food to feed 200 families, including kids who are borderline homeless. "Those kids may not know what a true Thanksgiving meal is," said Lisa Vigil.

If your family is in need and you don't get a food basket before Thanksgiving, free lunch will be served on Thanksgiving Day in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo. For more information click on the related story "Thanksgiving Day free meal locations" under the picture of the turkey.

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