Salvation Army Center of Hope sees spike in food insecurity

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:25 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Salvation Army Center of Hope says they could use some help.

Because of rising food insecurity and poverty, they say the number of people they help has gone up 120 percent.

Here’s how you can help.

The result of serving 400 meals a day is causing them to use more supplies than they can get in.

Major Jonathan Raymer says due to cost, it’s only going to get worse.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in those that we’re serving at our Center of Hope. We’ve actually almost doubled in how many are staying at our Center of Hope,” he said.

That’s just since June.

Chef Lannice Fryer says the unexpected spike is increasing their food expenses and depleting their pantry.

“Here, the biggest price increase is probably going to be on the meats. Because everything is up, from ground beef to poultry, pork, all that stuff is just about doubled in price,” he said.

Right now, the center is on track to serve more than 140,000 meals over the course of the next year.

“The most stressful part is not having enough of what you need. So you got to come up with a plan to kind of figure out how to make things stretch so that you can feed all the people,” said Fryer.

The shelter is starting to experience crowding in the rooms and is close to capacity.

Raymer said: “We haven’t hit that number yet. But we are approaching that number.”

They have anywhere from 140 to 150 people currently.

“Goal is within the first 24 to 48 hours, when you’ve come in the first time, is to meet with a caseworker so that those things can happen so that we can help get you on your feet as quickly as possible,” he said.

Many are not leaving, and their fear is what’s to come in their peak season.

Raymer says they are in desperate need of food donations such as meat, protein, canned food, and non-perishable items.

If you are interested in helping, you can drop donations off at the Kroc Center, any one of the family stores, or at the Center of Hope.

To volunteer, visit The Salvation Army.