BARRIE, ONT. -- After missing out on traditional kettles for its annual kettle campaign, The Salvation Army is now faced with a concerning aftermath.

"Not having physical kettles out drastically affected our fundraising campaign," said executive director of the Barrie Bayside Mission, Stephanie Watkinson. "Because we normally get about half our goal from physical kettles, and we didn't have them out this year."

The results left The Salvation Army short by roughly $300,000 of its goal to raise $600,000.

The biggest hit will be to its most critical service, the community meal program, which has seen a steady increase amid the pandemic.

"As of the end of November, we had prepared an additional 17,000 meals compared to last year," Watkinson said.

The demand for services is on the rise, and with food and program costs also doubling, the lack of donations from the holiday campaign hit hard.

While Watkinson said she knows many people are going through a hard time financially, she's hopeful that anyone with deeper pockets come forward with donations.

The Salvation Army's kettle campaign typically wraps up on Christmas Eve, but it has been extended this year with hopes of climbing toward its goal.

Donations can be made online, in person or by mail.