Salvation Army provides aid amid rising cost of living

Published 5:34 pm Monday, October 16, 2023

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With the current economic unease, more and more people have become susceptible to hikes in billing rates. With utility rates going up, many people in the area have begun having trouble making ends meet, with an increasing amount finding themselves unable to afford groceries.

This is where the Salvation Army comes in. According to local Salvation Army Director Merreann McDonald, the Army sees roughly 30 applications for financial aid a week, with usually 10 cases at least being people who have had trouble keeping up with their bills, describing the increase as “dramatic”. These rising costs have, unsurprisingly, been especially hard on people living on a tight budget or fixed income. According to McDonald, many seeking aid are new applicants, not repeats.

“In talking to the other food banks, everyone is seeing it,” she said. “People that could make it, can’t keep up with the rising costs of living.” While she said things are not the worst, the numbers of those in need are higher than usual.

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While the Salvation Army does offer food boxes for those in need, they will also aid those with higher bills or those who have fallen behind with payment as well. How much is paid is a case-by-case basis, determined in part by the Army’s available funding, which primarily comes from donations.

For those wishing to donate to the Salvation Army, there are several ways to do so. One possibility is through Georgia Power’s Project SHARE, which allows Georgia Power customers to add a donation to their electric bill payment; Georgia Power then matches that donation. One can also make a direct donation, and can specifically earmark it for what it should go to.

With the holiday season fast approaching, the Salvation Army is also preparing to help families with children in need, with the application period for their Angel Tree program beginning November 1. The Salvation Army is also preparing to hand out Thanksgiving food boxes in November as well. For updates on these projects, one can check or follow the organization’s Facebook page.