Salvation Army Teaming With Save A Lot For Food Drive

Shoppers at a local grocery store will soon have the opportunity to help the Salvation Army restock its food pantry and expand its food ministry so it won’t have to turn away anymore needy families.

FOF Christopher Blackmon announced this week that the Salvation Army is cooperating with the Save a Lot Food Store in Union on a month-long food drive. Blackmon said that from July 22 to Aug. 22, Save a Lot customers will be able to purchase and donate canned goods and other food which will be collected by store employees and picked up daily by the Salvation Army. He said the donated food will be used to restock the Salvation Army’s pantry which he said has not had enough food in recent weeks to meet the needs of all those individuals and families seeking assistance.

“We helped over 200 families last month but we turn away over a 120 a month because we don’t have enough food,” Blackmon said. “We need the food so we don’t have to turn anyone away.”

The lack of food sufficient to meet the needs of all the families that come to its social services department every day seeking assistance was first brought to Blackmon’s attention when he began serving as manager of the Salvation Army Store on Mountain Street.

“When I first got here two weeks ago I was talking to Dawn, our social services director,” Blackmon said. “She informed me how there had been a lack of food donations.”

To try and change that, Blackmon said he sought out Save a Lot Store Manager Mickey Wright about doing a food drive and Wright agreed.

“We organized together a canned food drive for the month of July 22 to Aug. 22,” Blackmon said. “We’re going to have a barrel at the store they can place food in and we’ll collect it every day.”

The donations will be made at the checkout corner where Wright said customers can designate which of their purchases are for the Salvation Army.

“Once they scan it, the customer can let the clerk know ‘I want this portion to go to the Salvation Army,’” Wright said. “The cashier will then take it to that area and place it to be picked up.”

Wright said the store’s participation in the food drive is part of its commitment to getting involved in the communities it serves.

“This is to help out the community,” Wright said. “We try when we can to get involved. This is a locally-onwed store and the owner likes getting involved in the community as much as possible.”

While canned goods and other non-perishable items will be the focus of the food drive, Blackmon and Wright said that frozen foods can also be donated. Wright said that if a customer donates meat or other frozen foods the store will put it in a freezer until the Salvation Army can collect it.

That community involvement is also a hallmark of the Salvation Army as Claudia Floyd, public relations director for the Salvation Army in Union and Spartanburg counties, pointed out.

“Every day our social services department is giving food to our community,” Floyd said. “Already we have served 1,206 families in the past six months. We’re here for the community. We’re offering a hand up, not just a handout.”

Blackmon reiterated this, pointing out that the Salvation Army seeks to not only minister to the spiritual needs, but also the physical needs of those who need its services. In fact, Blackmon said the Salvation seeks to minister to those spiritual needs by ministering to those physical needs.

“We feel that it’s easier to minister to one’s spiritual needs if their physical needs have been met,” Blackmon said. “Jesus shows us this in the scriptures by feeding those he ministered to spiritually.”

Read more: Union Daily Times - Salvation Army teaming with Save a Lot for food drive

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