Economic woes drive more people to pantry

Sharp hikes in food prices and rising unemployment have more people seeking help at The Salvation Army in Richmond.
“The need is very great,” said Judy Zilliox of The Salvation Army of Ray County. “We just can’t keep enough food in the pantry.”
Their food pantry is in immediate need of boxed macaroni and cheese, canned meat, cereal, peanut butter, jelly and cornbread mix.
Non-perishable items can be brought to The Salvation Army from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday at their 104 E. North Main location.
Zilliox said she is seeing a lot more people in the “in-between” category.
“They’re working, but with paying rent and utilities, there is not enough left,” she said.
And with the holidays just around the corner, The Salvation Army is also gearing up for its annual Toy Store and Adopt-a-Box food basket drive. Zilliox and her staff will be accepting applications from families to participate in the Toy Store, starting Oct. 27 and ending Dec. 16. Income-eligible families will be able to select Christmas toys for their children. The Salvation Army relies on the public for toy donations from their “angel trees” at Wal-Mart and Henkel. Participants purchase age and gender-appropriate gifts and leave unwrapped items at The Salvation Army store or Wal-Mart service desk. Last year, 320 children were given toys, according to Zilliox.
The Salvation Army is also requesting holiday food baskets for families and the elderly. A non-perishable basket consists of canned or mix gravy, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, canned vegetables, pumpkin and fruit, jello, a cake mix and frosting, boxed potato flakes and other items you may wish to give. A $15 Apple Market or Wal-Mart gift certificate may be given in lieu of a basket. Zilliox said she anticipates at least 400 food baskets will be needed, yet fears there will be more demand this year.
“I’ve got a feeling that’s not going to be enough,” she said.

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