There is a chill in the air, days are shorter, and leaves are turning beautiful colours of burnt orange, bright red and deep purple. It must be fall, bringing with it Thanksgiving. Tables filled with succulent ham, roast turkeys, fluffy mashed potatoes and delicious pumpkin pie.

This October, however, more than 16,000 families in Ontario will have no other choice but to visit a food bank for the first time in their entire lives. And while the idea of turkey dinner with all the trimmings certainly sounds delicious, for over 375,000 adults and children, it is simply not the reality of the season.

Throughout the provincial food bank network, food banks and their partner hunger-relief organizations, will be working very hard to provide fresh turkey, ham, fruits, vegetables, and other staples to Ontario’s hungry. They cannot, however, do it without you.

Through the Ontario Association of Food Banks’ Huffington Post blog, we often write about misconceptions regarding food bank clients, the incredible services our network offers, and the important advocacy work that we are doing at Queen’s Park. Today, we would like to come to you with a humble appeal: please consider supporting your local food bank this Thanksgiving.

Every year, almost 20 per cent of food banks report running out of supplies at least once throughout the year. The need in Ontario out-weighs the resources available to help support the hungry. Your generosity can truly make the difference between families having dinner together, alongside yours, over the weekend — or very simply having to go without.

There are many ways to help support your local food bank. Through food donations (both fresh and non-perishable) or volunteering, you can make an incredible difference for a family in need within your community. For every $1 the OAFB receives, we are able to acquire and distribute $8 worth of food. From trains to trucks, this food reaches every corner and every community of this beautiful province and is given to those who need it most.

This Thanksgiving, if you’re able to give a little more, know that you are making a difference.

By Amanda King, Manager of Membership & Communications at the Ontario Association of Food Banks

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post Link opens a new window.