THE CHRISTMAS rush to buy presents is under way but for many Dubbo families it is a battle to put food on the table.
Dubbo's Salvation Army and Westfund Dubbo have joined forces in launching the Salvos' annual Christmas appeal in an effort to ensure everyone had the chance to celebrate this year.
Major Kate Young said there was an increased need from families for food and Christmas presents to give their children.
"The higher cost of living, soaring electricity and gas prices push more people in the needy line and it is not just the poor people, it is the middle class and everyone else," she said.
Westfund employee Phillip Nott said to kickstart the appeal the branch donated $500 to the Salvos and was collecting donations of non-perishable food items and toys for families in need.
Major Young said even though times were tough, Dubbo residents were amazing in their generosity each year.
"Our experience over the years proves when people are struggling they find it in their hearts to give more," she said.
Mr Nott encouraged residents to donate anything small to the Christmas appeal to help put a smile on a child's face.
"It is the season of giving and anything you give will go a long way," he said.
Last year the appeal raised more than $20,000 worth of food, toys and monetary donations.
To donate visit Westfund at Shop 4, Riverdale Shopping Centre, Macquarie Street, Dubbo.
The Westfund Christmas Appeal closes on December 19.