SAN DIEGO (CNS) - More than 30 needy families received holiday gifts Tuesday during the Salvation Army Kroc Center's "Adopt a Family" event.
The center's Maria Todaro said more than 600 families signed up for holiday assistance this year, and the 33 with the highest need were "adopted" by individuals or businesses.
Those numbers have been steady through the recession, but are much higher than before the economic downturn, she said.
"We've seen an increased need over the last few years, and an increase in families who have signed up for the first time," Todaro said.
Parents were required to register in advance, provide documentation of their needs and supply their children's wish lists.
The neediest were "adopted" and provided gifts by their donors. The rest of the parents will "shop" Wednesday and Thursday for two free gifts and a stocking stuffer.
Families are also being given gift cards to grocery stores so they can purchase ingredients for holiday meals.
About 1,400 children are expected to benefit this year, according to Todaro.
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