The Salvation Army is looking for a new home to help keep up with a growing demand for food and clothing in Belleville.
The current building at 252 Pinnacle Street houses the army’s thrift store, food bank, meal programs and a temporary shelter. The building also acts as a meeting spot for other agencies.
Director of Community and Family services Abby Mills said the numbers at the lunch program have already exceeded last year’s numbers of 19,545 meals served, plus in the first two weeks the warm room has served over 1000 dinners.
The warm room is a homeless drop-in centre that provides an evening meal five days a week from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from November 15 to March 15 to anyone who is hungry and a time of fellowship.
On Friday, the Army served 179 adults and eight children lunch and the warm room served 107 dinners. Last year 30,000 meals were served plus over $10,000 in clothing was given out at the Thrift Store.
Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Post who works in the warm room echoed Mills’ sentiments on how great the need is in the City. She said without the help of volunteers whey wouldn’t be able to keep up with the need. Their 48-hour emergency food bank has served 5,500 people this year.
Mills said they are making the current building work thanks to the Lowe’s Heroes renovations project that was completed in November. The building is not ideal.
She said at this point they don’t have their eye on a particular building.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army’s popular the Coats For Folks program wrapped up last week, however volunteers were still busy handing out coats on Thursday.
Marlene Johnston said they gave out 175 coats this year with another 75 handed out on Thursday.
The coats will now move into the Thrift Store to be sold at $10 for adults and $6 for kids.
Thrift Store manager Michael Dawson said those with a Coats for Folks voucher or in need of a gently used coat can still get them for free.
There are still lots of hats, scarves and mittens left as well.