MOREHEAD CITY — With an increase in residents seeking food and financial assistance due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Salvation Army is seeking donations to restock its depleting food pantry.
Maj. Aaron Goldfarb with The Salvation Army said while there has been an increase in families seeking assistance, there has been a decline in food donations.
“A lot of our need is people don’t care to come out as much to make donations, so our pantry is low,” he said.
Maj. Goldfarb said in addition to families seeking help with food, he’s concerned for those who will soon be faced with paying past due utilities and rent.
“We’re seeing an increase in homelessness and those who were able to postpone paying utilities will soon be required to pay them,” he said. “I’m seeing a trend in people who have never been homeless before losing their home. If you don’t have a job, you can’t pay the rent. We’re going to need help to meet these additional needs.”
Maj. Goldfarb said The Salvation Army normally helps the homeless by paying for a room at a hotel for them to stay in for up to seven days.
“My problem is at the end of seven days, where do they go? We’re trying to work with people to get them some sort of permanent housing, but that is a big issue here. There is lack of affordable housing for low-income residents.”
In addition, he said there are fewer hotels accepting Salvation Army clients.
As for the food pantry, Maj. Goldfarb said as well as receiving requests from those who have lost jobs, they are assisting some who are homebound due to the coronavirus.
“We had one COVID patient we took fresh produce and meat to,” Maj. Goldfarb said.
The Salvation Army has also given out 170 food boxes at two Down East distributions, and Maj. Goldfarb wants to do more.
As well as nonperishable food, he said monetary donations are welcome so the organization can purchase food as needed. Some of the items needed include soups, canned meats and paper towels. He added there is a special need for canned items that have pop tops for homeless individuals and those without electricity.
Those wanting to donate nonperishable food can drop items by The Salvation Army at 2800 Bridges St. in Morehead City from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those wanting to make monetary donations can drop checks by The Salvation Army, mail them to P.O. Box 399, Morehead City, NC 28557 or go to salvationarmycarolinas.org/moreheadcity.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.