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Sunday, June 4, 2023
June 4, 2023

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Salvation Army in Vancouver looks to replenish pantry

No-contact donation drive Monday accepting variety of needed items

By , Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith

The Salvation Army’s Vancouver corps is holding a no-contact donation drive on Monday to replenish its food pantry, which is strained under increased need.

“Right now we just need some help because it’s not gradually increasing. It’s more and more every day,” said Joe Lennington, volunteer coordinator at the faith-based nonprofit.

Despite converting to a drive-up food pantry — where clients are handed a pre-packaged box of food rather than being allowed to shop inside the pantry — the Salvation Army has seen a 30 percent increase in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the nonprofit distributed more than 1,000 grocery boxes.

“At least half of those people — maybe even more than that — seem to be personally frightened,” Lennington said. “They’re just scared.”

In some cases staff have delivered food, which includes taking boxes to the temporary car encampment at Vancouver Mall. Major Michael Nute, who leads the Vancouver nonprofit, said he wants to lower barriers to help anyone in need.

Need help?

Visit clarkcountyfoodbank.org/get-food-covid19 to find the food pantry nearest you.

The Salvation Army is holding a donation drive to address the growing demand for emergency food, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies. The drive is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday. Lennington said donors can drive to The Salvation Army at 1500 N.E. 112th Ave. and pop their trunk to drop off donations.

The pantry is in need of these items:

Non-perishable foods

• Pasta, rice

• Canned soup, vegetables

• Canned meat, tuna

• Baby food

• Boxed meals such as Hamburger Helper

Personal hygiene products

• Razors, shaving cream

• Feminine hygiene products

• Diapers (infant, toddler, adult)

• Toilet paper, Kleenex

Household cleaning supplies

• Disinfecting wipes

• Household cleaning and disinfecting solution

• Laundry detergent

The Salvation Army’s pantry gets its food primarily from grocery stores, private donations and the Clark County Food Bank, which helps supply local food pantries.

The food bank began doing drive-thru food distribution twice weekly where clients drive to the warehouse. Although it begins at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, cars will line up an hour or more ahead of time, said Alan Hamilton, president of the food bank. He estimated each distribution serves 700 to 1,000 people.

While most of that food is recovered from grocery stores, the food bank is also buying a lot of food, something it doesn’t normally do.

Hamilton said there is discussion about long-term increases of food coming from state resources and the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program.

Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith