There is no better way to show love this Valentine’s Day than to give the gift of food.
That’s the sentiment the Salvation Army of Glendale is hoping to spread this weekend with the “Love Food Drive.”
The nonprofit service provider saw a 20% decline from 2012 to 2013 in food donations, which help feed 700 local residents who include working families in need of meal assistance.
The decline has led to a significant shortage in food supplies that would generally keep the Salvation Army’s pantry stocked. The organization’s distributes about 12,600 pounds of food monthly to its clients.
“It’s smaller than it has been for a quite a while,” said Lt. Jessica Sneed, co-leader of the local Salvation Army.
A shorter holiday season last year meant less time to fundraise and gather enough food donations to keep their pantry shelves through the winter, she said.
Sneed also attributed fewer donations to the economic upswing, which has made it “easier for people not remember those in need.”
Potential donors may also be suffering from “compassion fatigue,” said Rick White, the organization’s director of social services and volunteer coordinator.
With the loss of federal funding, he said many organizations have focused on gathering donations from private donors.
“People, who are normally very caring, are getting a little burned out from being asked to give,” White said.
Some donors, he said, no longer can give because they have become clients.
“More than one person has told me that they used to give to the food pantry all the time and that they can't believe now they are coming in for help,” White said. “They all promise to start giving again when things turn around for them.”
Anyone interested in donating food can drop off supplies at any local Glendale fire station and the Police Department through Saturday.
The organization has set up a drive-thru drop-off for food donations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at 320 W. Windsor Road.
The following is a list from the Salvation Army of Glendale of the most needed food supplies.
-Canned vegetables, fruit and tuna
-1 to 2 pounds of rice, dry beans and pasta
-Cereal, including oatmeal and Cheerios
-Small jars of peanut butter
The following organizations will also be collecting food donations on Friday (Donations will be taken to the local Salvation Army):
The Glendale Sunrise Rotary will collect donations at 7 a.m. at the Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive.
The Glendale Noon Kiwanis will accept canned goods at noon at the Glendale Elks Club, 120 E. Colorado St.