PALISADE, Colo. (KREX) — According to Food Bank of the Rockies, food costs are up in almost everything from canned food to cooking oil. Freight cost for vans have also increased — so national donation loads are harder to get.

“We’re not seeing certain foods as well they’re just not available so that’s where donations come in and it’s essential,” Food Bank of the Rockies – Western Slope Director Sue-Ellen Rodwick expresses, “From our donor partners, from the grocery stores to individuals who are participating in food drives across our service area, it’s essential for us to be able to supply the foods and that families are wanting to have at their table for the holidays.”

Grocery stores are one of the largest donation sources but food drives and financial donations are needed now more than ever to keep the warehouse supplied for hunger relief partners. Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year for the non-profit, so to be proactive, plans are already in motion.

“Some of our partners has specifically done turkey drives and then some of our partners are taking the opportunity the education we’ve done on culturally responsive foods and they’re creating more culturally relevant holiday food boxes,” Rodwick mentions.

While times get tough from time to time, there’s always a way to keep the holidays cheerful and people in need, well-fed. The food boxes prepared are not only culturally aware, they’re packed with alternates when needed.

“We don’t have instant potatoes but maybe we have whole fresh sweet potatoes that we have available,” Rodwick shares, “Trying to find some other items that might make sense for a holiday meal and opening up to other options for the holidays.”

Thanks to partners and local food drives, turkey is definitely on the menu.

“This is the season of giving and the time and where we can ensure every single one of our neighbors has the food that they need,” Rodwick affirms.

Food Bank of the Rockies has different ways you can help relieve hunger and give back on their website. You can dial 211 if you need food or other assistance during the holidays.