UPDATE: The shelves are nearly empty at a local food pantry. The Salvation Army says their supply is dangerously low and barely have enough to put a food box together for families. So far, no one has been turned away, but officials say they're close.

Donations slowly trickled in Thursday at the Salvation Army. It’s a welcome sight because the organization was running out of food.

"When we say dangerously low, that means we're almost to the point where we would have to turn someone away and then our only option is a food voucher,” said Kimberly George, Salvation Army.

The food pantry feeds upwards of 30 families a week, each is provided with a food box stuffed with food. However, this week, social services could barely put a box together.

"We are scrapping little bits here and there to put together a food box,” George said.
Donations tend to spike during the holidays then tapers off throughout the year. The need, however, continues year round.

"There’s a lot of need in Chattanooga, more than I think people realize. There’s a lot of homeless and a lot of homeless veterans,” Denny Elliot said.

Elliot and his wife collect donations at their church, they first heard about the need from Channel 3's story and made a donation on Thursday.

The harsh winter and high power bills have stretched funds thin for many and sometimes that comes at the cost of food.

"That takes a lot of resources for people to buy food because they do have to pay high power bills,” Elliot said.

One in six adults are considered food insecure, meaning they don't know where their next meal will come from. The Salvation Army hopes their supply stays secure so no one is turned away.

"We are not at the point we but we are very close and that's why we're asking the community to step up. We don't want to ever be at the point where we can't meet the need, where we can't help someone,” George said.

If you want to host a food drive, the Salvation Army will provide a collection bin for you.

Items most needed are:

  • Canned meat of any type:  Tuna, chicken, spam, etc.
  • Tuna/Chicken Helper/Hamburger Helper
  • Hearty canned soup:  Chili, ravioli, beef stew, chicken noodle, etc.
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Instant Potatoes and/or rice side dishes
  • Dry milk-Evaporated milk
  • Grits or oatmeal
  • Pancake mix and syrup

For a full list of items, please visit: http://csarmy.org/donate_drives.asp  All items can be brought to The Salvation Army located at 822 McCallie Avenue or to the Social Services Office located at 2140 East 28th Street 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Salvation Army is in dire need of food donations.

"The Salvation Army food pantry workers alerted administration it is barely capable of putting together complete food boxes for a family," Salvation Army Director of Marketing and Development Kimberly George said.

Sara Bennett of Social Services for the Salvation Army added that they barely have enough food to make a food box.

"We have odds and ends but barely enough to put together a food box," Sara Bennett of Social Services for The Salvation Army explained. "We desperately need the community to donate food!"

The Salvation Army is asking the public to donate non-perishable food items. The most needed items are: 

  • Canned meat of any type:  Tuna, chicken, spam, etc. 
  • Tuna/Chicken Helper/Hamburger Helper
  • Hearty canned soup:  Chili, ravioli, beef stew, chicken noodle, etc. 
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Macaroni and Cheese 
  • Instant Potatoes and/or rice side dishes 
  • Dry milk-Evaporated milk 
  • Grits or oatmeal
  • Pancake mix and syrup

You can find a full list of items needed by visiting The Salvation Army's website.

Donations can be brought to The Salvation Army located at 822 McCallie Avenue. You can also drop them off Monday - Friday from 8:30 am -4:30 pm at the Social Services Office located at 2140 East 28th Street.