By Renée Santos

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The demand for help this holiday season is growing. 

Many people are struggling to make ends meet or to even afford a meal. Every person has their own story. Some, like Kao Saechao, were comfortable enough to share theirs. He’s fallen on tough times and knows he’s not alone.

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“I’m just in a bad situation right now but I’m on the right track,” he said. 

“We have all been through something, you know. I’m not the only one,” said Nord Young, who is a veteran.  

Young is grateful to sit amongst other men who have served, feeling the love and support that comes with Thanksgiving. It’s a feeling that was once lost.  

“It’s about family and love, and happiness and being thankful,” he said.

The Salvation Army provided hundreds of meals to people in need Thursday.  

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Captain Larry Carmichael with The Salvation Army says people experiencing what they call pandemic poverty is at an all-time high.  

“Our food pantry is serving 220% more every single week than historical average,” he explained.

A free hot Thanksgiving meal for Eugene Corcino is just the right push to keep fighting to come out of homelessness.  

“They are bringing hope to the people that are on the streets as well as bringing love and peace to all of us and giving us that trust again,” he said. 

He knows there’s a significant increase in people experiencing food and financial insecurities in Sacramento. That’s why this Thanksgiving he and others are focusing on the good, embracing fellowship — all grateful to have a hot meal.  

“It’s helping out the people here in Sacramento,” Corcino said.   

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“Man, it’s a blessing you know,” Saechao said.