Salvation Army gearing up for holiday food baskets

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

As you rush around preparing for your Christmas holiday, please give a thought to those right here in the Indian Wells Valley who may be facing a bleak Yule.

For those in need, Christmas can seem like the loneliest time of the year.

The Salvation Army is here to help.

In addition to giving to th ered kettle drive, please remember the food drive to fill the Christmas food baskets. According to Envoy Donna Griffin, the Salvation Army distributed some 750 food baskets at Thanksgiving, and the Christmas list of applicants may be even longer.

Nonperishable food items are needed all year long for the group’s food pantry, but right now the urgent need is for turkeys or hams, plus items such as stuffing mix, gravy mix, canned yams, canned cranberry sauce, canned vegetables, brown sugar, potatoes, butter, marshmallows and so on.

Other items that are appreciated are nuts, canned milk, canned pumpkin, olives, powdered milk, cake mixes, cookies and rolls.

In short, almost any donated food item will find a use, either in a basket or in the pantry..

Last year the Salvation Army gave out no less than 1,600 holiday baskets in our community between Thanksgiving and Christmas. “I estimate we helped approximately 4,700 people, all in the Indian Wells Valley, including Trona and the Rand District,” said Griffin.

“We expect the numbers to go up, with the current economic condition. The number of people requiring services has gone up. We’re always hoping things will get better for them.”

She emphasized that this is not an entitlement program. “This is for those who have situations or unexpected circumstances that prevent them from having a holiday meal,” said Griffin.

The Salvation Army has freezers to hold frozen turkeys.

Donors are welcome to bring in donated items, or “adopt” a family. A basket costs $55, to feed a family. Donors may purchase the basket and have Salvation Army personnel deliver it, or they can deliver it to the family themselves. Money donated to the Salvation Army should be marked “for Holiday Food Baskets.”

Some donors choose to adopt the same family for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and may choose to give the family Christmas gifts, as well. It’s all up to you, the donor.

“We would like to thank everyone in advance for the support and prayers given 24/7 throughout the year,” said Griffin.

Story First Published: 2012-12-12