The holidays are approaching and charity organizations across New Jersey are desperate for donations to help those in need.  

(4774344sean, ThinkStock)
(4774344sean, ThinkStock)

In Atlantic City, where thousands of casino workers have lost their jobs, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission is already beginning to see people trickling in.

"As far as food is concerned, we probably need everything you have in your pantry at home. We are going to have such a large number of people coming not only for Thanksgiving, but for Christmas, in between the holidays and after," said Pastor Bill Warner, director of Biblical Education and Pastoral Care at the Atlntic City Rescue Mission.

Warner expects the need will double in the coming months.

"It's going to be a lot on us, but we are preparing, adding beds, getting ready for the needs of families, single women with children and anyone else who comes to our door," Warner said.  "We don't just supply food and a place to stay. We have many programs as well that have to keep running.  We need financial help and material help as well."

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey is also looking for donations. The need for donations is the same year-round, according to Julia Kathan, director of Public Relations and Communications at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. "We really need the basics, food for struggling families for children and for seniors. This is the time of year when it is top of mind, but getting the food to people who need it is what our job is and that's what we hear from the people we serve."

Basic needs include canned tuna, salmon and chicken, shelf-stable milk, pasta, potatoes and rice and other non-perishables.

"Hunger doesn't have one face. It doesn't have an age, it doesn't have a gender, it doesn't have a race," Kathan said. "We know that there are families where the mother and father both work, but they can't make ends meet."

The Salvation Army New Jersey Division has seen an increase in requests for items.

"Not only are families in need of holiday assistance, but they also need winter clothing and they now have heating bills that they typically don't have during the other seasons," said Maj. Edgar George Jr., divisional secretary for the Salvation Army New Jersey Division.

The Salvation Army is kicking off its annual red kettle campaign on Thanksgiving Day.

"A lot of that money helps provide programming throughout the year," George said.

For more information, to make a donation or to volunteer:

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