Salvation Army in Wausau asking for food donations to continue holiday meal giveaway

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 9:32 AM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The saying goes, when you have more than enough, build a bigger table, not a higher fence.

The Salvation Army in Wausau needs help filling more tables with food before Thanksgiving.

Throughout the morning and early afternoon Monday, people were lined up down Callon Street to receive a free Thanksgiving meal. They’re still giving away meals for two more days, so they need help meeting all that demand.

Thanksgiving there looks different this year, with people making their own food boxes grocery shopping-style.

“Normally we have a hot meal here, and we’re unable to do that this year, so we’re giving out thanksgiving supplies in order for people to have it at home this year,” said Major Barbara Logan.

Logan says they want to give people a comforting meal in hard times.

“Everything just takes on such a different feeling this year. You know, like for instance churches not being filled with people last Sunday for Thanksgiving,” she said.

Just an hour into the first of three days of giveaways, they were running low on some food.

“We were hoping we wouldn’t go through the supplies as rapidly as we have,” she said.

They could also use people to help make the giving possible. John Cunningham has been volunteering at the Wausau location for more than a decade.

“As far as volunteering, we could use all the help we can get,” Cunningham said.

He says they’ve been smart about COVID-19 safety.

“Before I come in, I check my temperature, sanitize, obviously wear my mask. Me being in and out of the kitchen I’m always washing my hands,” he said.

It’s important to him to be here, because he was once on the other side of the line for food and knows how important the help is.

“I really enjoy working with the people, people who need help. Salvation Army helped me out in my days, in my days of need. So I’m paying it forward, and it makes me feel really well to help the community out,” he said.

Despite the difficulties many are facing this year, Major Logan is looking on the bright side.

“We have to really help each other have hope in the midst of things, to keep a positive attitude, and have joy in the midst of what’s going on, because we have each other,” she said.

The Salvation Army is asking anyone who can bring Thanksgiving food like hams or turkeys, or gift cards to drop them off on Callon Street in Wausau. You can also call a grocery store and arrange to buy food for them to pick up.

Food will be available to pick up Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 23-25, between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at The Salvation Army’s 202 Callon Street location. Customers will enter the front door on Callon Street, stay socially distanced and wear a mask and gloves while selecting and boxing food they need to feed their family, and exit out the back door of the building. No pre-qualifications or income verification is required.

Wausau East High School students coordinated a drive that resulted in donating 86 turkeys. A couple of other private and corporate donors donated money or food items specifically for the purpose of providing those who are struggling this year with a full Thanksgiving meal.

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