It's not the official start to summer until this weekend, but the heat would have you feeling otherwise.

That's why the Salvation Army started its annual "Beat the Heat" campaign. They're collecting grocery boxes for families and accepting assistance on utility bills.  They say it's the poor who usually suffer from the heat the most. High electric bills and increased food costs put an unavoidable burden on needy families.

Salvation Army caseworkers are distributing free box fans and water to low income individuals and families affected by the heat. They are also offering a cooling shelter at the Recreate Cafe on McCallie Avenue

If you or someone you know is in need of a fan, please call 423-756-1023.  Those in need of a cool drink of water may visit the hydration station located at 800 McCallie Avenue.  Passersby will be able to quench their thirst from 9 am - 5 pm every day that the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.  

Monetary gifts should be marked “Beat the Heat” and mailed to 822 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403 and are accepted online on or by calling 1-800-sal-army.