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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The holidays can be an especially hard time for children in foster care.

This year, FosterAdopt Connect said they have more kids in care due to the stressors of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for them are in danger after a loss of donations.

Lori Ross, the president and CEO of FosterAdopt Connect said the metro is having an influx of kids in foster care.

Hundreds of children more than expected have been placed since school started in August. A lot of that has to do with children heading back into the classroom and interacting with mandated reporters.

“Things in the foster care system are challenging all the time, but definitely more challenging now,” Ross said. “We did have a lot of families sign up for help this year, and a little bit of a freak out about not having the turkeys to send out with their Thanksgiving dinners.”

They plan to serve nearly 200 families this year, but their planned donor didn’t come through. They’ve seen donations start coming in to fill the gap, but they need more.

“All of a sudden, our donations were cut in half and we were scrambling,” Faye Woods said. They run the pantry and clothes closet at FosterAdopt. They say inflation is also hitting the pantry hard.

“A gallon of milk is now close to three dollars instead of one dollar,” Woods said.

Besides items for a Thanksgiving meal, Woods said they always need clothes, especially for teens, diapers, wipes, feminine products, and toiletries. Kids who come into care without the clothes they need are able to take seven outfits a month from the closet.

They say the gift of giving kids what they need are what the holidays are really about.

“That would be a total holiday gift for me personally, and I think my whole team at FosterAdopt Connect,” Ross said.

“We believe that kids heal in a family setting and having a holiday meal is about being with family,” Woods said.

If you would like to help FosterAdopt Connect you can help in a number of ways. To donate financially you can make your donation online on their website. If you would like to donate a turkey, food, or other items you can drop them off at FosterAdopt Connect directly at their office at 18600 E 37th Terrace S., Independence, MO 64057.