Local food banks ask for help to stock shelves for holidays

With Thanksgiving just a week away, local food pantries have a greater need than ever this year. Knowing the upcoming holidays will be a challenge, these agencies are asking the public to help restock the shelves.

Wednesday, one local charity's turkey giveaway in D.C. brought out hundreds of people.

Those in attendance waited in long lines for the free Thanksgiving turkeys from social service agency "Bread for the City." The organization says{ } they're seeing a lot more need among residents this year.

Kristin Valentine, director of development for Bread for the City, said, "...seeing a 20 percent{ } increase compared with last year.. Some are new and others...they're back."

By Christmas Eve, their free "Holiday Helpings" - a turkey and all the fixings - will go out to 9,000 families in the district.

"There are people who never had turkey...because they couldn't afford it... Now they can celebrate at home with their family," added "Bread for the City's" Sherri Eram.

In Northeast, the Capital Area Food Bank is also buzzing with pre-Thanksgiving activity.

Lynn Brantley with the Capital Area Food Bank explained, "From here, the food is distributed to more than 700 agencies in the area...soup kitchens and food pantries."

In the past six years, they've seen a 25 percent increase in the number of residents served.

Recently, Hurricane Sandy helped to deplete local food supplies, as they're being sent out to parts of the country hardest hit by the storm.

Both Bread for the City and the Capital Area Food Bank provide information for those interested in donating to their causes on their websites.