PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With Thanksgiving approaching and a big focus on food, we are finding out that food insecurity is growing and the demand for help is climbing in our region.

KOIN 6 News checked in with the Marion Polk Food Share in Salem, a non-profit that distributes groceries to more than 100 organizations that give it out to individuals and families in the community.

Demand has skyrocketed this year by 40%, KOIN 6 News learned.

There have been more than 14,000 visits to local food pantries in the area last month alone and there is concern the need will grow in the coming months especially if the economy starts to struggle and food prices continue to climb.

Grocery store chains don’t donate most of the food here, instead, more of it comes from cash donations, food drive donations and local farms.

You can help by donating food staples like peanut butter, tuna, and cooking oil to food drives and can easily make cash donations online to Food Share and food banks in your area.

Volunteers are also always needed, not just on the holiday but on most other days as well.