Just a few blocks west of historic downtown Frankfort is a property that looks to the past, present, and future of local residents. It’s here that The Salvation Army offers a number of services designed to help neighbors in need, whether they are hungry, homeless, or simply looking for a peaceful place for prayer.
Everyone in town is familiar with The Salvation Army Family Store, a place for great bargains and unique finds. They may not realize, though, that the money raised through the sale of donations helps to operate three other services: a food pantry, an emergency assistance program, and a family shelter. Edith Crews, a Salvation Army volunteer-turned-employee, oversees the operations and works with families who stop by looking for help.
“People come in and fill out applications and then we see what their need is,” Edith explains. “Food, necessities, utilities, medical – just anything that we can help them with.” Hunger is the number one reason why people come to The Salvation Army. Households are limited to one box of food every 30 days, yet the food pantry consistently serves between 15 and 25 families every day.
Much of the food that fills the pantry’s shelves and cooler is purchased at a steep discount from food banks and local grocers. With demand so high, Edith is seeking funding to expand the building’s storage capabilities. “We need more refrigerated space because we can get fresh produce from Food Finders in Lafayette for free, especially in the summer time,” she notes. “But it comes in great big bins on a pallet and we have nowhere to store it.”
Behind a peaceful prayer garden, a large community garden on the property supplements the food pantry and offers locals an opportunity to help tend the plot in return for fresh produce. Among those helping out are the residents of The Salvation Army’s family shelter, which can house two families for up to 30 days at a time. This sanctuary helps families in crisis, whether they’ve been displaced by a house fire, are struggling financially, or are in sudden need of a safe haven.
“One lady had three children and had just fled an abusive relationship,” Edith relates. “She had a job, so she and her children stayed over there a little bit less than a month. We got some Christmas presents for her and helped her with food. She was able to get on HUD and got herself and the children all housed.”
Every day local residents find much-needed assistance at this special place. Thanks to the support of donors near and far, The Salvation Army will continue to offer diverse services in towns big and small all across our state.