The Salvation Army in Cape Breton says tough economic times are forcing more people to come to them for help.

"We're seeing people calling who have never called before, we're seeing people walk in here saying, 'I don't know what to do,'" said Lt. Joshua Downer, the Salvation Army officer in charge of Glace Bay and New Waterford.

"We see a need not only for food, but also I think spiritually and for different help too, for transportation, so many other things. We're looking at again hundreds of people — in Glace Bay alone — coming for food hampers and Christmas toys for their kids this year."

Bev Burton, a volunteer with the Salvation Army, guides people through the application process to get help.

"There's a lot of people out there who have no money and they can't live on what they're getting and this is why we help them at Christmas," said Burton.

The Salvation Army is working on a plan to help the people needing assistance, including extra help for the kettle campaign, where members or volunteers stand next to a container and accept donations.

"We've hired a kettle co-ordinator and we think that should help to get a little bit more organization and get some more volunteers," said Maj. Kent Hepditch, the senior officer in charge of Sydney and North Sydney.

The kettle campaign pays for Christmas food hampers, toys for children and several other programs within the Salvation Army. They're hoping to raise $200,000 in the local area.

If people want to donate but don't have cash when the come across a Salvation Army kettle they can now text a donation or contribute through email on the Salvation Army website.