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Salvation Army Seeing More First Time Users at Food Pantry

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Released 19 January 2011

Food Pantry


Salvation Army food programs across the country say they're struggling to keep up with the demand.

In Eau Claire, the Salvation Army captain says the amount of food on the pantry shelves tends to fluctuate. But, the big thing they're seeing is a lot of new faces looking for help to fill their cupboards.

"Mostly it's desperation because they're not sure where to go. They want to feed their children mostly, those are the ones who are pretty sad or even shameful sometimes," says Amanda Radle, the social services director for the Salvation Army in Eau Claire.

Radle helps people in the Salvation Army food pantry every day, including many she hasn't met before. She says the shelves are looking pretty good right now, but that's often a seasonal thing

"We are blessed with people bringing in a lot of food from Christmas. Obviously the food that we have now will go down quite a bit, so we'll always need donations," Radle says.

"Our food pantry in the fall started to get very low," says Captain R.C. Duskin with the Salvation Army in Eau Claire.

Captain Duskin says we're lucky in our area that when the need arises, the community often steps up. He says 400 to 450 families use the Eau Claire pantry every month.

"Every little bit helps because if we have a number of people bringing in one or two bags that multiplies," Duskin says.

A survey of Salvation Army food programs around the country show many aren't able to keep enough food on the shelves; more than half reported half-empty shelves.

"We'd like to provide more help in different ways, but the funding only goes so far," Duskin says.

If you'd need help or would like to help you can call the Salvation Army at (715) 834-1224.


To watch the interview with Captain R.C. Duskin and Amanda Radle, please visit

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