Salvation Army meal program impacted by inflation

The Hastings Salvation Army has had to adjust their mobile feeding program.
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 8:56 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The cost of food is at an all time high, and not only is it affecting the average grocery shopper, it’s also taking a toll on nonprofits, like the Salvation Army.

The Hastings Salvation Army has had to adjust their mobile feeding program.

They’ve now turned to providing more inexpensive food products in order to keep inside of their budget.

“We did not anticipate this big of an increase this year so, we’re struggling but we will still stay out as long as we can,” said Salvation Army Major Dale Branenburg.

Brandenburg told Local4 News, they typical would spend an average of $725 on food for their program, but this year, their grocery bill is averaging $1,600.

Not only are they battling the rising costs of food, the nonprofit is seeing more and more people line up to receive the free meals every evening.

In years prior, Brandenburg said they would serve around 65 guests. This year, they are making 200 meals and are handing out every last one — sometimes before the end of their shift.

Brandenburg said these changes have also caused them to cut down on the variety in their meal offerings.

“We used to have a two week running menu so, every two weeks it rotated and, now, we just can’t do that,” he noted.

Monday, the Salvation Army served up hot dogs as the main dish. Brandenburg said this was the second time they had served hot dogs this year, but they normally only serve hot dogs twice during their entire season.

“The people that we’ve giving the food to, they’re noticing,” he said. “It’s not, you know, what it used to be but, they’re still thankful and still happy to get it so, we just do... the best we can.”

The Salvation Army serves up meals each weeknight from 4:00-4:45 p.m. in the parking lot behind Sonic and from 5:00-5:45 p.m. on South Pine Street at Smitty’s Mobile Home plaza.

Brandenburg said they plan to keep the mobile meal program running through August 5.

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