In the midst of a global pandemic, many local charities are facing a tough reality: More to serve with less to serve them.

The Rome Salvation Army is among them, where Captain Al Krueger says his center at 410 West Dominick Street saw a 162% increase in service requests last month. The need isn't expected to immediately ease, and Salvation Army chapters across the country are facing a forecasted 50% decrease in funds, he said.

''We're a little nervous going into this kettle campaign.'' Krueger said on WIBX 950's Keeler in the Morning, describing weekly food giveaways each Monday-through-Thursday that see lines ''out the door.''

''There is tremendous need. It's a little staggering when we come to the building every day there's people waiting for us to open. We're happy that we're there and able to help. We're starting to get a little nervous about Christmas and where the money is gonna come from to be able to help families. We traditionally help anywhere from about 300-350 from Rome and the surrounding areas and we're forecasting...up to 700 families this year.''

Supporters and donors were aware of the increased need when COVID-19 hit and stepped up, Krueger said. After the temporary shutdown, the Salvation Army in Rome was 'overrun' and inundated with donations of items. Now, he fears donor fatigue as the holidays approach.

Salvation Army Collects Donations
(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

''The money coming in the door is far less than the money going out the door in current days,'' Krueger said.

Ongoing are negotiations to get permission that would allow Red Kettle bell ringers to return to the entryway of national supermarket and department store chains this holiday season.

''Some [retailers] we already have agreements with,'' Krueger said but added whatever is allowed with ''look vastly different'' this year.

If you are donating items to the Rome Salvation Army, Krueger asks you only enter if you need a receipt, otherwise, items can be left at the bins outside of the building.

Monetary donations can be given online, here.


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