WINDSOR, ONT. -- Greg Lemay is in the midst of planning a 1,000 meal distribution to low income families later this month.

Lemay fundraises for the yearly event and joins other community groups in noticing a consistent rise in demand for help.

“The need is obviously larger,” says Lemay who started organizing Christmas dinners for those less fortunate four years ago.

“It could be the pandemic, it could be inflation, it could be loss of good jobs, I don’t know,” Lemay explains. “We obviously see more people struggling, we see it on our streets, not just at downtown but across the city or the region.”

Last year’s event saw 623 meals delivered across the city thanks to volunteer and local business support, according to Lemay.

This year, he anticipates anywhere between 800 to 1,000 meals to be ordered, telling CTV News deliveries go out Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. “The whole idea here is not to leave anybody behind, right?”

Meantime, registration for another festive meal giveaway in Windsor opens Friday, Dec. 10.

Organizers for Angie’s 7th annual Christmas Turkey Dinner Giveaway say they too have seen a yearly increase in demand across the region.

“We start getting phone calls from the public in October wondering if we’re going to be doing the giveaway,” Office Manager, Monique Ritz with Angie Goulet & Associates says.

Goulet says that again this year due to COVID-19, rather than having the public attend in person to pick up a turkey dinner, volunteers will deliver the free meals to everyone’s door in a safe, contactless delivery format.

“We find that every year the need is just as great as the previous year,” Goulet says.

Distribution of 1,000 meals is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 19.