Salvation Army chapters see increase in demand for food, services

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Nov 21, 2012 2:15 PM

(Undated) -- Midstate Salvation Army chapters are working to meet an increase in demand this holiday season.

In Lancaster, the Salvation Army chapter expects to provide at least 3,000 Christmas meals for families in need.

Major Bryan Smith says its seeing an increasing number of employed people requiring their services.

He says the nonprofit is also helping more multi-generational households, including one with 15 people living in the same home.

It's a similar situation in Northumberland County, where Brian Persing is an Advisory Board Member for the Salvation Army in Shamokin.

He's worked with nearby school districts and businesses to set up a food drive for Christmas.

"If we don't do this, who's going to do it," Persing questions. "We just need somebody to initiate it. If you ask the people of our area -- they're good people -- they'll help if they know about it and you ask them."

The Shamokin chapter is asking for specific items like boxed stuffing and turkeys to provide meals to more than 600 families.

Likewise, the Harrisburg chapter of the Salvation Army has found success with similar, targeted requests.

It recently received 65 cases of food during a one-day drive, but expects to feed more than 1,100 families this Chirstmas.

The national organization has also adapted its famous red kettles for the Internet with an online campaign.

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