Knoxville — Chuck Galeazzi with Helping Hands in Knoxville said he has the names of 300 children in need of Christmas gifts this year.
Galeazzi is working with the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce this year to distribute information about families in need. Sheets are being distributed to these families that can be completed with names, ages, clothing sizes and gifts the children would like. These sheets will be available at the Chamber.
Those who buy gifts have the option of delivering the gifts directly to families, or dropping them off at Helping Hands. Galeazzi would like gifts to be delivered to Helping Hands by Dec. 17.
Assistance is also sought for food baskets for Christmas. While it is too late to reserve a Thanksgiving basket, the demand has increased. Helping Hands has secured turkeys for over 240 Thanksgiving baskets to be distributed before the holiday. Food donations should be submitted before Dec. 17 as well.
Galeazzi said that since the temporary increase in the amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits expired, there has been more demand for food assistance at the pantry. Between Jan. 1-Oct. 31, there have been 6,371 families, which translates into 16,733 people, who have sought assistance from Helping Hands.