Impact of inflation could force Salvation Army of Lynchburg to cut programs

If things don’t change soon, they’re about one month away from making the tough decision

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Salvation Army of Lynchburg is usually there to support residents in need — but now, the organization is the one pleading for your support.

Major Caleb Prieto says if things don’t change soon, they’re about one month away from cutting their programs.

“The funds are getting really low. Summer is always slow. We don’t want to interrupt any program,” said Prieto.

He says the Salvation Army is always in need of donations — but inflation is having a major impact.

They’re seeing an increase in people coming for help, including those needing shelter. Their 60-bed facility is already at capacity almost every night.

“It’s tough because right now we are the only emergency shelter in the area,” said Prieto.

He says they’re also seeing more families in need.

“Families coming for assistance, probably 25 percent, on a monthly basis more than before,” said Prieto.

And he says they’re running out of food. They typically serve 30-to-40 meals every night.

“Last week we had a couple of days with 90 meals served, which is unreal. We haven’t seen that since I’ve been here,” said Prieto.

Prieto says he’s been in Lynchburg for two years, so he served through the pandemic.

“Even during the pandemic, we didn’t see that increase.”

The Salvation Army does not receive federal or state grants, so they rely on local donations.

Money and nonperishable food items are their biggest need.

“Right now, anything will help tremendously.”

About the Author

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.

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