FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The holidays will be different this year due to COVID-19 and the Central California Food Bank and Catholic Charities Diocese of Fresno are not sure what to expect as they prepare to see a lot more people in need over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“That’s traditionally our busiest months out of the year…so, we’ve really been strategic in trying to plan early on how we can continue to meet that need,” said Ashlee Wolf, the development director at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fresno.

Catholic Charities has already helped 50,000 more people than at this time last year, many of which have never sought help before.

“This pandemic has taught us that nobody is really immune to the financial effects that this pandemic has caused.  It could be my family, it could be your family, this could have happened to anyone.”

Catholic Charities typically gives out around 1,200 turkeys and boxed meals for Thanksgiving and expects that number to double this year.  Kym Dildine, the co-CEO at the Central California Food Bank is concerned about meeting holiday needs, as well.    

“We all thought this was gonna be over in just a month or two and so really playing it by ear on how it’s going to impact year-end giving and our ability to serve families at the holiday is a little bit tricky, but we believe that this community is strong.”

This year the nonprofits will continue to work together to make sure no one goes hungry.

“One of the things we’ve seen during these last couple months is that neighbor helping neighbor has never been greater,” said Wolf.

“We couldn’t do this work without them and hundreds of other organizations in our community,” said Dildine.

Both the Central California Food Bank and Catholic Charities are looking to the community for volunteers and any donations.