The Good Samaritan Ministries Food Pantry is once again providing Christmas food boxes to their clients during the month of December, and preliminary numbers indicating a near double increase over last year.

“Last year, we served nearly 1,000 families, and this year, we are anticipating at least 2,000,” said Angelia Bostick, executive director of Good Samaritan. “We served 95 families on Dec. 1, the first day we began distributing.”

To meet the growing need, Good Samaritan has extended operating hours to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. And, as always, the food pantry is being manned by volunteers, including members of area churches and civic organizations.

Bostick said that in addition to the usual “staples” , families will receive items needed for a traditional Christmas dinner.

The boxes will include a six-pound cooked turkey breast, potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix and other holiday foods.

Two items in short supply right now are canned corn and green beans, Bostick said.

“Corn and green beans are something we can’t get from the food bank,” Bostick said. “If someone would like to contribute, we could really use those two items.”

To cover the $35 per family cost, Bostick said donations can be accepted in a variety of ways.

“We do accept credit and debit cards and PayPal as far as donations for those who cannot come visit us here,” Bostick said. “People can also make the donations in the form of a memorial in honor of someone who has passed away.”

All donations are tax deductible.

To make donations, or for information about Good Samaritan, visit www.goodsambwd.org.

“We just really hope that people don’t forget about us after the holidays,” Bostick said. “When the hurry and scurry of Christmas is over, we will still be here and there will still be people in need.”