The holiday season is just around the corner, and it's the time of year when families in need can use all the help they can get.
The Salvation Army lends a big hand to local families in need all year round, and this holiday season they're preparing to help even more local residents.
The Hastings Salvation Army is accepting Christmas food basket and toy applications now until December 9th.
Last year, around 350 families received meal boxes.
Major Abe Tamayo, with the Salvation Army in Hastings, says they expect this year to be similar to recent years, meaning the gift of giving will be in high demand.
"It's quite a meal box. It'll feed a family of four for about a week. It has holiday meats and other canned meats and goods. It usually has gravy and stuffing, those types of things go in the holiday food box. A ham, but also other vegetables and those types of things we try to provide for them, fresh milk and produce, those types of things," he explained.
Assistance for purchasing Christmas gifts and toys is also high in demand for area families.
Parents are able to pick out the toys for their children themselves, making the process personal for the family.
"What we do is we actually set up a Christmas shop at the lower level of the building where the parents can come in and shop for their children at no cost and then they have the joy of wrapping the gift and placing it under the tree. The child does not need to know that the gift comes from the Salvation Army," says Tamayo.
Those looking for assistance can stop by the Salvation Army Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, or 1 to 4 p.m. to fill out the application forms.
Most of those who fill out applications will receive assistance, and can expect a call back on their application shortly after the deadline.
The Salvation Army would also like to remind everyone that it is run solely off of local donations, including: cash, food and clothing.
Additionally, this winter is expected to be a brutal one, so coat donations are greatly appreciated.