GREELEY, Colo. -- Ann Simmons, a Weld County resident, says she depends on the local food bank for her essentials.
"It's kind of a lifeline," said Simmons.
You would think that given that we're just a week away from Thanksgiving, Simmons would be thinking about the holiday meal, but that's not the case.
“More than likely I won't have the money to buy a turkey or anything,” said Simmons.
Heading into a holiday built around food can be hard for many people. This year, 22 percent more people are requesting help in Weld County.
Many people, like the Haywood family, are trying to pitch in.
“We grew up with assistance, pretty much our whole lives, and we're older now and we're doing better for ourselves; and we want to teach her [their daughter] what it means to help someone who's not as fortunate and can't afford to make a nice big family dinner for their family,” said Latasha Haywood.
But the Weld County Food Bank needs a lot more Haywood families as the need grows.
“Certainly the high cost of housing has something to do with it. Utilities are going up and, you know, people work really hard and they may not just make that livable wage,” said Weld County Food Bank executive director Bob O’Connor, who's been in charge of providing needy families with a Thanksgiving meal for 20 years.
“We're not only putting food on the table, we're helping families get together,” said O’Connor.
More than 5,400 Weld County families will depend on the food bank for Thanksgiving lunch this year. This year, 600 more families need the Weld County Food Bank's help with a turkey than last year.
With less than a week to go, the food banks still needs 1,700 donations.
Organizers say financial donations are the most helpful, because one dollar can help provide five meals.
“We have a great community that really cares about people and wants to step up and make the right thing happen,” said O’Connor.
This Saturday, the Weld County Food Bank will host a turkey drive at every Safeway and Walmart in the county from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.