The center typically serves 1,500 families and signs up more than 1,000 people during pre-registration. However, this year only about 700 people signed up for the annual program on Oct. 4 and 5.
Registration will begin again next week, on Monday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Mansour Center, 995 Roswell St., in Marietta.
This is the first year the CFR has ever had to re-open registration, said Jeri Barr, the organization's CEO. It's also unfortunate, because there is a need for such help, she said.
"We know the need is up," she said. "We just didn't have as many people come and register as we usually do."
Her staff is reaching out through the media, school social workers and other nonprofits to encourage people who need help to come forward.
The program was developed to help families keep their families together during the holiday season.
"We give them food so they can go home and be with their family and friends on Thanksgiving and Christmas," Barr said.
Qualified families will receive a box filled with everything needed to make a meal at home together during the holiday season. Families who need assistance with Christmas for their children also have an opportunity to sign up with Cobb Christmas during registration.
Applicants must have low income and live in Cobb County. The following documents are needed to register: a picture ID such as a driver's license, Social Security cards or birth certificates for all household members; written verification of all household incomes for the last four weeks, such as check stubs or letters from an employer on letterhead; written verification of all unearned income such as TANF, unemployment, workman's compensation, Social Security, SSI or child support; and verification of Cobb County residency such as a lease or utility bill in registrar's name.
For more information, call the center at 770-428-2601, extension 414.