BLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) - Foodshare's annual "Turkey and Thirty" still happened this year, but with a few changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity organization said it reached its goal of 20,000 turkey donations.
However, it still needed nearly $100,000 in monetary donations.
It said that all 20,158 households in Hartford and Tolland counties that requested a turkey will receive one this year.
“We are beyond grateful to everyone in the community who has helped us reach our turkey goal," said Jason Jakubowski, president and CEO, Foodshare. "With an increase in demand we anticipated the need was going to be much larger this year, but we were ready to take on that challenge. Reaching our turkey goal days before Thanksgiving only happened because the community once again, rallied to help our neighbors in need. But our work is not done, we still have to push for monetary donations because an estimated 153,000 people, including 46,000 children in our service area are food insecure, and with COVID-19 we know that the numbers will only keep increasing."
The drive actually kicked off on Nov. 1, but without in-person collection drives.
Instead, Foodshare said it purchased some turkeys in advance for those in need.
It's the money for those turkeys that has been coming from donors.
To make a donation, head here.
"Community members will be able to donate to Foodshare to support the purchase of a turkey (or more!) for a neighbor in need," Foodshare said. "Your monetary gift will help Foodshare achieve our goal: To provide thousands of families with the food they need on Thanksgiving and beyond."
Foodshare said the demand for food assistance has increased significantly during the pandemic.
It expected to distribute more than 20,000 turkeys this year.
Jakobowski said there are an estimated 545,000 people who are "food insecure" in Connecticut.
He said that in just the first few months of the pandemic, Foodshare gave out 3.5 million meals.
Jakobowski also said that 75 percent of the people using Foodshare's services never used their services before.
More information about Foodshare itself can be found here.