By Nancy Lockwood
Channel 2 News
9:49 PM AKST, December 23, 2012
The approach of Christmas day means the end of the holiday donation season for Anchorage charities.
December 24th is the last day the Salvation Army "Red Kettle" volunteers will be ringing their iconic bells while collecting change to help those in need.
The Salvation Army is seeing the totals they expected this year. PR Director Jenni Ragland expects that when the red kettle donations from the 24th are counted up their totals will be very close to what they received last year.
Like the Salvation Army, the food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters will continue to collect year-round, but the end of the year is also the end of the financial records. Some local charitable organizations are seeing the totals they expected, and in some cases more.
For Food Bank of Alaska, the donations were larger this year, but Jim MacKenzie, director of the food bank, says that is in part due to the greater need. "Just the number of hungry Alaskans in general went up from 90,000 last year to almost 105,000 this year." he said.
MacKenzie went on to explain that the storms last September left many in need but also fostered awareness of those in Alaska for whom hunger is a daily issue.
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