By Jason KUROSU
The Salvation Army of Glendale continues to seek donations throughout the holiday season. Currently, the Red Kettle Campaign is underway, in which the Salvation Army looks for volunteers (individuals and organizations alike) to work at various red kettle sites. Especially helpful to the Salvation Army is that each donation made to red kettles is being matched. This will hopefully offset the decrease in donations seen over the past few years, a trend that has been observed both nationally and locally.
“Donations are down this year – worse than we’ve ever seen,” said Rick White, director of Social Services and volunteer coordinator with the Salvation Army Glendale. “There are several annual food drives that have traditionally helped carry us into the New Year. This year, we received 20% or 25% less food from each [drive]. “
White said that alternative strategies had to be employed in order to stretch the amount of food available.
“In November, we had to close the pantry for several days because we ran out of food. We ended up taking money budgeted for other programs and using it to purchase food from a wholesaler,” he said. “To try and manage our inventory better, we have had to extend the time when people can receive food from every 30 days to every 60 days.”
The Salvation Army of Glendale serves 450 families and 700 people a month on average. White said another noticeable trend is that the number of senior citizens in need has grown.
“Many of the new clients are senior citizens struggling to make ends meet,” said White. “Glendale has seen a greater increase in the percentage of seniors than any other city in Los Angeles County.”
Among the food items that the Salvation Army of Glendale is seeking, the most needed include canned vegetables, fruits and soups, tuna, dry pinto beans, rice, pasta, peanut butter and plain spaghetti sauce.
The Salvation Army of Glendale is located at 320 W. Windsor Road in Glendale. For more information on donating, visit http://www.glendalecorps.org/.