Salvation Army able to feed families after flood of donations
Posted March 27, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — With just 15 cans left on the shelves, The Salvation Army of Wake County on Friday suspended its food pantry program that helps families in need.
“It’s a little scary because I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it this low,” said Lizzy Adams, public relations director for the nonprofit. “Until there are cans on the shelves, we have to suspend our outreach program.”
The food pantry is part of The Salvation Army’s Crisis Programs, which provide food, clothing and financial help to Wake County residents. Typically, the organization offers 50 appointments a week for families to collect a week’s worth of groceries. That amounts to about 540 nonperishable food items a week for the pantry.
The pantry also supplies food for residents in the Women & Children’s Shelter.
With the dearth of donations, the organization has had to cancel food appointments.
“We receive calls all the time for food assistance and, therefore, are in constant need of food donations,” said Maj. Pete Costas, commanding officer of The Salvation Army of Wake County. “This is especially true in the spring and summer months. People need to eat.”
Costas is asking the public to help by buying a few extra cans of food or hosting a food drive.
Canned and nonperishable food can be dropped off at any time at the Judy D. Zelnak Center of Hope, 1863 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh.
“It may not seem like much, but every can counts,” Adams said. “It could make a world of difference to a mother trying to make sure her children do not go to bed hungry.”
After media outlets reported the shortage Friday morning, donations began rolling in. Marcie Boyes, who works at Easter Seals, was one of many people who stopped by to give.
"We are able to eat, and I know a lot of people aren't right now. So, we saw you guys on the news today, and they were so low - to have no food in the pantry. It's just devastating," she told WRAL News.
Salvation Army staffer Carlton Richardson says the donated food filled up four buggies in a half hour.
"Fantastic," Richardson said of those who rushed to help. "We can feed a lot of families in the community."
Visit the organization online to download a food drive tool kit.