Times can be tough for many people with the economy still recovering, and the holiday season is not bright when there is little or no food in the cupboard. Two Cabot community outreaches are preparing to meet that need for Thanksgiving, and each needs donations and volunteers.

Lunchbox Connection, which gives children sack lunches during the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks invites both donations and volunteers to meet an expected greater demand with this holiday season.

Lunchbox Connection will be at two schools — Central Elementary, 36 Pond St., Cabot, and Ward Central Elementary School, 1570 Wilson Loop Road, Ward. Serving during the Thanksgiving break will be 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Nov. 25 – 27, and 29; Christmas break serving will be Dec. 23, 24, 26, 27, 30 and 31, at the same schools.

Organizer Susan Hedin said that last year there were about 100 sack lunches handed out each day at Westside Elementary School, which did not include "extras" sent out for later. Students are the focus although, "No one is ever turned away," she said.

Hedin said she was led to begin Lunch Box Connection when she found out that about 200 children in the Cabot School District might go hungry during the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. For many of the children, the meals at school are their only assured food for the day, she said.

Lunch Box Connection needs include paper lunch sacks, napkins, bottled water, sandwich bags, peanut butter, grape jelly, healthy snacks and single-serving bags of potato chips. "It costs about $150 a day at each school," Hedin said.

Cabot School District opens the cafeterias for Lunch Box Connection to use, but the food that is distributed is donated locally, Hedin said. "We feed their hunger with food and their souls with love," she said.

For more information about Lunchbox Connection, to make a donation or to volunteer, call Hedin at 501-786-3589; on Facebook at lunchboxconnection; or the website http://lunchboxconnection.weebly.com