The Salvation Army's food pantry received a shot in the arm last week with a $2,500 donation from First Energy Seneca Plant.
Bob Flickner and Jason Mowrey of First Energy Seneca Plant handed Maj. Ron Starnes a check on behalf of First Energy employees Ronald Martin, Thomas Groff, Brian Kane and Larry Himes who were the winners in a recent exercise and weight loss competition at the company.
The group of First Energy employees chose the Salvation Army food pantry as the recipient of the check.
"This is a fantastic donation to us and we thank First Energy and their employees for this," said Starnes. "This will help us with food for both the pantry and our soup kitchen and will help us be able to feed those that are coming. In the summer we get more children because schools not in."
The Salvation Army food pantry was providing 20 to 30 meals a day before the summer and now has increased from 40 to 45 meals a day with more children visiting, said Starnes.
The donation couldn't of come at a better time, the summer season is typically a slower time for monetary and food donations and an increase in the number residents who visit the food pantry, said Starnes.
"It's a little slow during the summer, and that's usually expected," he said
"The summer's always the slowest," he said. "We have seen an increase in food distribution this year from last year, already. I'm almost sure that we've had more people we're helping already this year, and our year isn't done yet, we don't conclude our year until the end of September, we probably surpassed the amount of families that we had last year at this time."
Residents who visit the food pantry are finding themselves choosing between paying electric bills or buying food, Starnes said.
"People are at that point where they have to make those kind of decisions this year that maybe they didn't have to last year," said Starnes.
Cuts in state and federal funding go beyond food programs however, to education funding and transportation programs.
"Everyone's going through that," said Starnes, "when your counting on X amount of dollars and you get Y amount of dollars, all of the sudden, what do I do?"
The Salvation Army is accepting donations of non-perishable food items such as cereal, canned meats and boxed potatoes. For more information contact Maj. Ron Starnes at 723-8950.