(FOX 9) - The Salvation Army says requests for food since the pandemic started have increased significantly, and as Red Kettle season launches, Minnesotans are eager to help.
The Salvation Army said the demand for assistance has skyrocketed since March, a direct result of the pandemic’s economic impact. Nationwide, The Salvation Army has seen a 155% increase in requests for assistance since March, primarily with food distributions and rent and utility assistance.
At some Twin Cities locations, requests for food boxes have increased 10-fold since the pandemic began. There is also concern that the pandemic could adversely affect kettle giving this year. With reduced foot traffic and fewer locations and bell-ringers, The Salvation Army advises that kettle revenue could decline as much as 50%.
Bell-ringers will follow prescribed protocols to wear masks, maintain ample distancing and sanitize kettles regularly—some indoor kettles will even feature sneeze guards. In addition, new contactless ways to give are available at all Twin Cities kettles:
- Use Apple Pay or Google Pay—hold your phone to the sensor and select an amount
- Use your phone’s camera to scan a QR code and follow the prompts
- Text “RESCUE” to 24365 and follow the prompts
If you'd like to volunteer, go to SalvationArmyNorth.org/kettle to register.