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Salvation Army of Bell County needs help stocking its shelves

The Salvation Army of Bell County said it needs help from the public to feed people in need as the pandemic worsens.

TEMPLE, Texas — The streets may seem empty during a pandemic, but the Salvation Army of Bell County said it's seeing more traffic from people in need.

With more places closing, including non-profit organizations that provide food assistance, the Salvation Army said it's surpassing its normal workload.

"The average on our numbers has been around 300 people served in an entire month," Commanding Officer Lt. Chantel Millin said. "And, in looking at our numbers for the month of March, we still had about a week or week and a half to go and we had already surpassed that 300."

Those numbers are expected to continue to rise. Millin said they're doing everything they can to keep up with the increased need.

"Years and years of past history shows that over the summer, needs already increase," Millin said. "Adding that with the pandemic means that it's going to be even more."

Credit: Salvation Army of Bell County
Salvation Army of Bell County commanding officer Lt. Chantel Millin said this photo from 2018 is a real possibility of the problems facing the Salvation Army's pantry if they don't get help from the community during the pandemic.

Millin said if they don't receive help from people in the community, there's a real possibility they run out of food to help people who need it.

"We know food is going to go fast," Millin said. "This isn't a situation where we're stocking up, per se, as much as quickly as it comes on to our shelves is as quickly as it's going to go off."

Millin said they're asking for financial donations because if they're able to buy food to put on the shelves at a discounted price,  they can buy more than the average person. Millin said that can be done through their Facebook page.

But they're also accepting non-perishable food donations at their offices in Temple (419 W. Ave. G) and Killeen (1306 E. Rancier Ave.).

"Knowing that this need is not going to stop, there are some places that aren't currently serving, which means we've got more people coming to us to get food," Millin said. "It is imperative that we prepare for what is headed our direction."

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