Salvation Army urges community support for family food, utility, and rent assistance

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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With Easter approaching, The Salvation Army of the Tri-Cities is witnessing a surge in families grappling with financial strain due to the escalating costs of basic essentials. The need for necessities like food, utility assistance, and rent support has reached a critical point, prompting The Salvation Army to call upon the community to extend hope and stability to these vulnerable households.

Captain Aaron Abram, Corps Officer in Kingsport shared, “As we prepare to celebrate Easter, many families in our community are facing daunting decisions – whether to put food on the table or keep the lights on, pay rent or cover essential medical bills. These are our neighbors, our friends, and our fellow residents, and they need our help now more than ever.”

Rising prices, stagnant wages, and unpredictable energy costs are combining to create a perfect storm of financial hardship for countless families. The Salvation Army is witnessing a surge in people seeking food assistance, a spike in requests for utility aid, and a looming fear of eviction for many locals struggling to afford their rent. Moreover, an increasing number of families are seeking help for the first time. Last year, The Salvation Army in the Tri-Cities served more than 150,000 meals, provided more than 54,000 nights of shelter, and distributed more than 4,600 food boxes.

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“Even a small donation can make a big difference,” emphasized Major Brooks Gilliam. “A grocery voucher can fill empty cupboards, a gift of $50 or $100 can keep families’ utilities on, and our rental assistance truly can prevent a family from losing their home.”

The Salvation Army is calling on the community to support its critical programs in the following ways:

– Donate: Financial contributions are urgently needed to purchase food, cover utility bills, and provide rental assistance. Every dollar counts in the fight against hunger and homelessness.

– Volunteer: Contribute your time and skills to sort food, prepare meals, assist with programs, or raise awareness.

– Organize a food drive: Rally your neighbors, colleagues, or club members to collect non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army pantry.

“Together, we can ensure that no family in our community goes without the basic necessities they need to celebrate Easter and thrive,” said Major Gilliam. Please visit to learn more about how you can help.