The CBC P.E.I. Feed A Family campaign is off to a slow start and organizers are encouraging Islanders to donate turkeys, cash and other foodstuffs by this Friday, Dec. 15.

So far, CBC P.E.I. has received about 800 turkeys and just under $10,000 in cash donations. The Upper Room Food Bank is hoping to receive enough turkeys to feed 1,800 to 1,900 families in need on the Island. 

In 2016, the campaign brought in 1,700 turkeys and raised $37,674.78.

"Things are going a little bit slower than we hoped," said food bank manager Mike MacDonald. "We're really getting down to the nitty gritty and only have a couple days left."

'We're asking for help at this point.' — Jim Ferguson

CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland has been touring the Island this year accepting donations for the campaign, in a donated transit bus dubbed Jay's Sleigh. 

Jay's Sleigh will visit Stratford Sobeys and the West Royalty Superstore Wednesday. 

'We need a push'

"At this point in time, we're concerned," said CBC senior manager Jim Ferguson.

"We'd like to see increased participation — Islanders have a long history of helping us get to the finish line on this one, but with the finish line approaching on Friday we feel a real need to say to folks, we need a push ... we're asking for help at this point." 

Jay's Sleigh

Look out for Jay's Sleigh, a bus making stops across the Island collecting turkeys and cash donations for families in need as part of CBC's Feed a Family campaign. (CBC)

Ferguson urges Islanders to visit cbc.ca/feedpei, where it's easy to make an instant donation online. 

The food bank will purchase turkeys using donated cash if it doesn't receive enough by the end of the day Friday, MacDonald said.

There have been years when organizers weren't sure they'd reach their desired total, but MacDonald said he can't recall a year when donations have been slower coming in. 

People can also participate through their morning cup of coffee — half the proceeds from sales of Island Morning Brew at Receiver go to the Feed A Family campaign.

For every turkey donated, P.E.I. potato farmers have also pledged to give 10 pounds of potatoes.