Food search: Salvation Army in need of supplies

Published 8:12 pm Friday, October 25, 2013

Lt. Goldie Rabin said the cupboards are literally bare at the Washington Salvation Army.

Now she and her husband, Lt. Bruce Rabin, are seeking donations to help local families through not only the holidays, but the weeks leading up to them as well.

“We have just had an influx of people in need of food,” Rabin said. “Our food pantry has been depleted. We are feeding just more and more people.”

Rabin said The Salvation Army usually operates fine with regular donations from area businesses and individuals, but lately, workers have had to purchase food in order to meet local need, an occurrence Rabin attributes to the recent federal government shutdown and an interruption of some benefits. Before the government shutdown, Salvation Army was feeding about 186 people a month, since then, it’s been closer to 550 people a month, Rabin said.

“Our numbers tripled in three weeks,” she said. “We’re seeing more middle class families needing food for the first time.”

Previously, an individual could receive food from The Salvation Army once every three months. Rabin said they’ve had to change that guideline to once a month.

While local schools and Boy Scout troops conduct Salvation Army food drives in November to help float the organization through the holiday season, those items won’t arrive until early December.

It’s November that Rabin is concerned about.

“Our need is immediate,” Rabin said. “There’s nothing we don’t need at this point.”

Anyone interested in donating nonperishable goods to The Salvation Army can call 252-946-2523 for more information or drop off donations from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 112 East Seventh Street, Washington.