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Aberdeen Salvation Army sees food shortage amid pandemic

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Food pantries across the state have been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, and it comes at a time where job loss and insecurity are forcing many to turn to help. It’s an ongoing issue that the Salvation Army in Aberdeen is facing, and desperately looking for more help to fill the need.

The organization, like many food pantries has been faced with a major task; satisfying an increased need while seeing downturn in donations. It’s something that resource manager Trent Dean says they’ve been battling since March.

“We got out of last Christmas pretty good, and we had quite a bit of food. And then COVID hit, and we went from a very healthy stock of food to kind of, getting to the end of it there.” Dean says.

On Wednesday, the organization sent out a message on social media, trying to help fill some of their nearly empty shelves. While individual donations haven’t been down much, large food drive that the Salvation Army relies on have been cancelled out of health precautions. Dale Hunt, the Senior Pastor and Administrator at the Aberdeen Salvation Army, says those food drives are what help them fill the needs of the community, and help sustain that action nearly all year.

“Like the Postal food drive will last us about five months. And then the Boy Scouts kick in, and they’re about two to three months. And then we have the Christmas tree, which is another couple of months of food.” Hunt says.

Since Wednesday the organization has had a number of individuals and outside groups donate, helping restock many items. However both Dean and Hunt worry they’ll face the same dilemma in the coming weeks and months, especially leading up to the holidays.

“And we’ve got holidays coming up. And that’s when people desperately need stuff, so we want to try and accommodate everyone. No one needs to go hungry this Christmas.” Dean says.

Hunt says anyone looking to donate items should call the Aberdeen Salvation Army, to see how they can help out. More information can be found here.

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