SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- The number of families in Southwest Missouri seeking help during the holidays is increasing.
The Salvation Army and Victory Mission say inflation is a leading factor.
“It’s had a huge impact, probably the largest impact since I’ve been here. We have seen double the number of folks coming to us seeking help this year.” Major Jon Augenstein with the Salvation Army said. “That’s been both families with children, but also senior citizens and disabled adults who are coming for help. It’s just been a dramatic increase.”
“Day in and day out are one of our drop-in kind of areas where we do some immediate needs. It’s increasing to where our case managers are having a hard time keeping up with that.” Jason Hynson with Victory Mission said.
Hynson says his group aims to help put food on tables during the holidays while combating rising food costs.
“We will deliver a meal to their house. And it has all the trimmings and trappings of kind of a standard Christmas meal.” Hynson said. “The cost of food is significant and, you know, even through great resources and things, there’s still some costs associated with shipping and handling and things like that.”
The Salvation Army says they’re seeing fewer donations, which can add pressure as more people seek help.
“Right now, our Kettle effort, fundraising effort is about $18,000 behind last year’s pace. So, we will provide service to everybody who’s signed up this year. Our concern will be for the rest of the year leading into next Christmas.” Augenstein said.
Victory Mission looks to meet the needs of others who may slip through the cracks.
“The Salvation Army does a lot with Christmas, but we’re kind of filling that gap of individuals that need a little help,” Hynson said. “Maybe you live alone with a significant other or you have some older kids, and you want to do something for them. We want to be there for those individuals.”