OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – With Thanksgiving approaching quickly, some of the less fortunate families were expecting to go without a turkey.

However, thanks to Feeding America and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, turkeys were given out at the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry on Monday, ensuring families will have a Thanksgiving feast.

“With everything going on right now, being able to secure a turkey for a family is just an amazing thing that we can give back to the community,” said Karl Buelow, Operations Manager at Oshkosh Area Community Pantry.

The need has increased at the local pantry, with inflation hitting families hard over the past several months. Buelow reports that new registrations are up nearly 80%.

The Oshkosh Area Community Pantry is there to serve those who are experiencing food insecurity, and Buelow says all you need is personal identification and where you currently reside.

“Just so we can establish your account and get you set up, and then you’re able to come through and shop just like every other guest that we have here,” stated Buelow.

Those who are in need, once an account is set up, can go through up to two times per month to gather food and essentials.

Patti Habeck with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin was also at the pantry and explained how excited that the nonprofit was to help out those in need.

“To us, that is very exciting. Turkeys are actually kind of hard to get, and they’re a little bit more expensive this year, but we’re really happy to be able to provide them,” said Habeck.

None of this would be possible without the funds provided by the Wisconsin Department of Trade, Consumer and Protection. Governor Tony Evers was able to secure some federal funding and put that toward helping food insecurity.

Randy Romanski, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Trade, Consumer and Protection says that even though Wisconsin produces a lot of products, food insecurity is still a major issue.

“In a state like Wisconsin, where we grow and produce so much, it seems unusual to see and hear about food insecurity, but it’s around. We’re here today to celebrate all the work that the volunteers here are doing and the important work they’re doing to make sure that we’re connecting people to food supplies,” said Romanski.

All three individuals that were interviewed by Local 5 News pushed how important volunteering is, especially around the holidays when some are struggling to make it by.

“We have a very active volunteer population, and you get to deal with me,” joked Buelow. “Whether it’s time or money, we could always use more in our community.”

“If you have an opportunity to donate or volunteer your time, just think of those who are maybe a little less fortunate right now,” added Romanski.

Those interested in donating or volunteering with the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry can visit their website here.