11/18/04 — Donations help Salvation Army recover from theft

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Donations help Salvation Army recover from theft

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on November 18, 2004 2:01 PM

Ten days after its warehouse was raided by thieves, the Salvation Army is restocking the shelves in its food pantry.

Immediately after news reports Friday about the theft, people began showing up at the Salvation Army with food, Capt. John Leidy said. "We had people backing their cars up to our garage door, and their trunks would be just be full."

The United Way contributed $1,000, and Wal-Mart pitched in 10 frozen turkeys and 1,000 cans of food, Leidy said.

Several area businesses are holding food drives, and airmen at Seymour Johnson have organized one that will be delivered to the pantry Tuesday.

The outpouring of support should enable the Salvation Army to distribute food baskets at Christmas to low-income families and senior citizens, as well as continue its year-round mission of feeding the hungry at its shelter.

"Our pantry is already looking very healthy. When we put it all together, we're going to be truly blessed," he said.

Salvation Army employees discovered Sunday, Nov. 7, that someone had broken into their warehouse and taken at least three barrels of canned food, several frozen turkeys and other items. The loss came as the Salvation Army was taking applications for holiday assistance, and employees thought they might have to turn some people away.

"In just a week and a half, our whole view has changed," Leidy said today. "This really confirms that there's a lot of good people who want to help if they only know how. There's a multitude of unsung heroes."

Several businesses have requested barrels to hold food drives.

Tech. Sgt. Reagan Whitaker began a food drive in the security forces squadron at Seymour Johnson last weekend, but after Chief Master Sgt. Eric Johnson heard about it, he expanded it into a project for the entire 4th Fighter Wing, according to the base's public affairs office.

The base will be collecting non-perishable food until Monday when they will be packed up. The food is expected to be delivered to the Salvation Army Tuesday.

For more information on donating items on base, call 722-2362 or 722-2359.

The need for food won't end at the holidays, Leidy said. The Salvation Army provides more than 60 meals a day to people staying at its shelter, and it distributes food baskets to the hungry throughout the year.

Call 735-4811 for information on making contributions directly to the Salvation Army.