HIGH DEMAND FOR ASSISTANCE CAUSING SHORTAGE AT LAWRENCE FOOD PANTRY
Lawrence Salvation Army leaders asking individuals, businesses and churches to consider donating food items with winter and holiday season approaching
LAWRENCE, MA (October 28, 2014) – Salvation Army leaders in Lawrence are asking the public to give back as its local food pantry is experiencing an increase in requests for assistance from individuals and families across the Merrimack Valley.
As many as 50 additional families a week and up to 200 additional families a month are visiting the Lawrence Salvation Army Food Pantry to request food. The increase comes as many Merrimack Valley residents continue to struggle to provide meals and other necessities for their households with the holiday season approaching.
The spike in need has caused a food shortage at the pantry, with leaders being forced to cut down on the food available to patrons and, in some cases, turning away patrons. Salvation Army leaders are asking individuals, businesses and churches to consider donating funds, non-perishable food items or hosting a food drive to support the pantry.
“We are committed to helping everyone in need, but right now we can’t keep up with requests for assistance. It’s so difficult when we don’t have enough for parents and others hoping to provide for their families,” said Major Miguelina Feliz of the Salvation Army in Lawrence. “In some cases, families come in looking for food and we are unable to give them anything, because the pantry shelves are empty.”
With the increase in families seeking assistance, the Lawrence Salvation Army Food Pantry serves about 180 individuals and families each week. The increase in families seeking assistance started in the summer, with the pantry’s shortage beginning in September. Recipients can visit the food pantry once per month and the goal is to provide at least one week’s worth – and preferably two weeks’ worth – of food for the household.
“Having enough food on the table is incredibly important and it’s heartbreaking to see families struggling,” said Major Eduardo Feliz of the Salvation Army in Lawrence. “Many of us take it for granted, but households, even those in which one adult is working, are struggling daily with food security. We are calling on our region to help us in the fight against hunger.”
Although the unemployment rate has improved, a record number of Americans have dropped out of the labor force, as many families are finding their resources stretched thin as income inequity continues to rise. The Massachusetts Salvation Army expects the increase in requests for services across the Commonwealth to continue as the holiday season approaches.
For more information or to donate online, please visit: www.salvationarmyma.org/Lawrence.
About The Salvation Army
Whether it is shelter for a displaced family or a warm cup of coffee for our brave first responders – hope and healing is the message of The Salvation Army. Since 1865, The Salvation Army has been providing social and spiritual services to communities throughout the world. People given purpose, hearts given hope and souls finding redemption – this has been the Salvation Army’s mission for more than a century.
With heart to God and hand to man, The Salvation Army – an international movement – is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.