ASBURY PARK - More New Jersey families in need turned to charities for food and donated gifts this holiday, and they are receiving those items this week.
Gaylord Watson picked up food and Christmas presents for his three children at the South Brunswick food pantry. "It's good to know that there's people that step in to fill the gap and help you at this time," he says.
Boxes from the pantry are going out to almost 250 families, which is an all-time high. Social services director Louanne Wolf says she isn't surprised. "Unemployment has ended for people, food stamps have ended," Wolf says.
With the unprecedented demand, the food pantry put out a call for help earlier this year. Wolf says donations poured in and filled the shelves.
The Salvation Army in Asbury Park has a gym filled with items for families in need. "Each of these bags contains toys and clothes which will be given out to 250 families Saturday," says Cheriann Stoops. She says families will receive a bag of toys for their children and a gift certificate to Stop & Shop.
Stoops says that because of the late Thanksgiving this year collections from the Salvation Army Christmas kettles were down more than $20,000.