PANAMA CITY -- It has been a tough few years for Franklin County families that make their living on the bays and the gulf.
The oysters and seafood have virtually disappeared from the area. A couple of agencies are asking you to help these families through a special holiday program.
Early Education and Care started the Neighbors helping Neighbors campaign in November. EEC is working with an organization called the Franklin’s Promise Coalition.
So far 400 families signed up to receive donations. The campaign has raised $1,000 but needs $7,000 more to reach the goal.
EEC Executive Director Pam Fleege said, "We’re really hoping that we can get more in. So we're…we're working on it."
Early education and Care is spreading the word about the Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign by handing out flyers. The flyers were handed out to local businesses. Fleege says she just wants to spread the word.
The money will be distributed to families in the form of meal vouchers. Each family will receive $20.
"If eighty people were willing to give $100, we could feed the entire 400,” said Fleege.
And it doesn't stop with the voucher. Families that signed up will also receive a free box of food provided by the local food pantry and Salvation Army. If they have children the family will also receive a few toys.
"Remembering the kids at Christmas and the food for the families kind of helps soften this stressful time of year and everyone likes to get together and celebrate the holidays,” said Franklin Promise Executive Director Joe Taylor.
It's been more than a month since some of the families signed up.
"So it's been a while, and their very excited and looking forward to it,” Fleege said.
This is the first year for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Campaign but Early Education and Care plans to make this an annual operation.
Voucher distributions are scheduled for December 19th at Apalachicola High School.