Since Monday, needy families have been applying for holiday assistance at the Salvation Army in Wausau.
Salvation Army leaders say hundreds of children are now on a list to ensure they will get gifts during the holiday season.
"We started sign up on Monday and so far we have 800 children signed up. There is a real need for Christmas programs as well as food and shelter," said Salvation Army Lt. Melinda Tripp.
A new report out this week from the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families highlighted the slow economic recovery in Wisconsin.
Census Bureau data was used to put together the report which shows the poverty rate in Marathon County rose since the start of the recession.
The bureau found the total poverty rate in Marathon County increased to 10.9% in 2012 from 7.8% in 2008. It also showed the typical household earned $6,100 less in 2012 than in 2008.