Salvation Army accepting donations for holiday food drive
ALAMOGORDO – The Alamogordo Salvation Army is organizing its 18th annual holiday food drive for families in need throughout December. All month, the charitable organization will be collecting non-perishable foods that will go to its food bank for low-income families in the community.
Alamogordo Salvation Army Corps Officer and Pastor Mareah Makowski said about 170 families have signed up to receive Christmas food boxes so far.
“Every year we hand out turkeys and Christmas food boxes. This year about 170 families have signed up to receive meals,” Makowski said. “We need extra help during the holidays to get food to fill the boxes so we have enough food for the families that sign up with us. We especially need turkeys and hams and all Christmas dinner fixings like potatoes, stuffing and yams.”
Makowski said the goal is to collect as much food as possible throughout the year. All the food that is collected is stored and distributed at the Salvation Army’s food bank, 1900 First St.
“Any food that people want to donate we pass them out throughout the year as well,” she said. “We give out about 150 to 200 boxes a month throughout the year.”
Salvation Army volunteer Heidi Jackson said the items most needed are soups and stews, canned fruit, canned vegetables, rice, pasta and beans.
“People can drop off donations directly at the Salvation Army on First Street and we will also have two boxes at Albertsons,” Jackson said.
Jackson, who has been volunteering at the Salvation Army for about a year, said she started helping because she saw a need for it in the community.
“I went shopping one day and noticed that there were no donations or advertisements for the food drive so I decided I wanted to step up,” she said. “I reached out to Salvation Army and offered a lending hand on coordinating it and they let me run with it.”
Makowski said she and her husband, Bryan, have been a part of the Salvation Army since childhood. Both of their families were involved with the ministry for many years.
“My husband and I are both officers, we’ve been in charge of this Salvation Army in Otero County for about a year and half,” Makowski said. “We transferred here from Glendale, Arizona.”
Jackson said she is thankful to serve her community and hopes to lead an example for others who are interested in volunteering.
“This experience has reminded me to be thankful for each other and our community. We make our community and it’s up to us to make the initiative,” she said. “That’s what has been beneficial for me, knowing that I made a difference.”
Makowski said her favorite thing about offering the Salvation Army’s services is getting to see how generous people are.
“I love seeing how generous people are during this time of year, having a heart to care for other people,” said Makowski. “There’s always a way people can help, wherever they can fill in the gap, their help is always wanted. It’s definitely cool to see.”
The Salvation Army food pantry and distribution is Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Salvation Army headquarters, 1900 First St. For information on donations or how to volunteer call the Salvation Army main office at 443-0845 or visit their Facebook page.
Christmas food boxes will be distributed Thursday, Dec. 21, at the Salvation Army during their regular hours.
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