Salvation Army of Omaha officials say more than 170,000 people received food, utility, and other types of assistance through the organization last year.
The Red Kettle campaign kicked off Friday, with a goal of $3.1 million. Salvation Army of Omaha spokeswoman Susan Eustice says requests for material assistance are on the rise.
Eustice says the food pantry saw an increase in need of 41 percent over the past three years. “The cost of food is soaring, and most individuals who come to us for material assistance need food as well as help with their rent, help with their utilities, or even housing. 54,000 people were served here in Omaha by our material assistance services just last year for an 11 and a half percent increase, and most of that in the area of the food pantry.”
More than 20 programs are funded throughout the year by the Tree of Lights campaign, including Winter Night Watch, which begins next month.
More information on the programs, and the Tree of Lights campaign, is available at www.givesalvationarmy.org.