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Connecticut Foodshare aims to collect more than 51,000 Thanksgiving turkeys for families in need

The organization's volunteer force will be key to meeting the demand as 51,291 families in CT have been identified as being food insecure or in need, officials said.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — Cat Carmack spends her mornings on the front lines at Connecticut Foodshare.

“I love meeting new volunteers all the time,” she told FOX61 News on Thursday.

Carmack is a one-time intern, who now oversees an army of volunteers at the distribution center in Bloomfield. She said she is always looking to add to her ranks.

RELATED: Foodshare to end emergency drive-thru food distribution sites this month

“Honestly anyone, anyone who is willing to come in, do whatever they can for the community, that is a huge step to help anyone involved,” Carmack said.

Suzanne Havens is new to Connecticut. But, the mom and grandmother was eager to help after doing similar work in Illinois.

“It is very rewarding, that is why I show up twice a week here," she told FOX61. "It is a nice thing to do, and it makes me feel good. I know that makes me sound selfish, but knowing I am doing something to help someone else makes me feel good as well."

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Their volunteer force will be key to meeting the holiday demand, Connecticut Foodshare announced.

The organizations has a record Thanksgiving goal this year.

“What we are going to need is 51,291 turkeys for the state of Connecticut,” CEO, Jason Jakubowski said.

He said that exact number reflects the number of families across Connecticut that have been identified as being food insecure or in need this Thanksgiving.

“The easiest thing someone can do, and we know we are still in the middle of COVID times, is they can go to foodshare.org and donate a virtual turkey,” Jakubowski added.

While the holiday meals may get the most attention, Carmack stresses it’s a year-round need that could not be met without donations and her volunteers who get the hard work done.

RELATED: Turkey prep starts early at Connecticut's Foodshare

“Thank you so much, honestly we would not be able to do it without you guys,” Carmack said.

Keith McGilvery is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at kmcgilvery@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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