In 2020, an estimated 9.6 percent of New York residents were food insecure. But in Broome County, that number was 13.8 percent. 

In response, organizations like United Way of Broome County have continued to promote their services. The nonprofit's 211 Resource Team -- or, "first call for help" -- connects callers with local services, including food pantries.

"We like to call ourselves the community hub, [the] community center," said Shaniyah Day, a 211 information and resource specialist at United Way. "And really 100 percent of what we do goes back into our community."

One such service is the First Presbyterian Church -- which offers free hot meals each Wednesday evening.

"I just want to extend a welcome to anyone here in the community," said Amy Abbey, the church's outreach coordinator. "We are happy to have you come and join us for our meals."

This week, the free dinners will take on a Thanksgiving flair, with the church planning to offer turkeys.

Other organizations have offered similar initiatives. This past month, United Way completed its annual Thanksgiving basket drive. In partnership with catholic charities, nearly 3,000 local families were able to sign up for packages of food for the upcoming holiday.

As Thanksgiving draws near -- and even after it passes -- volunteers want to remind the community that help is always out there.

"We are available Monday through Thursday -- from 10 until 2," Abbey said. "Just knock on our door and we will help you any way that we can."