(CENTRALIA, IL) — As 2015 comes to a close, The Salvation Army is seeing people in Marion County are still struggling, with low income families still having to choose between food or utility payments. Salvation Army General Manager Sharon Hall says the situation isn’t expected to improve in 2016, and that the Salvation Army will need at least $50,000 to assist the Marion County area. “The majority of our local programs rely directly on our community’s support,” she notes. “We know that we will need at least $50,000 to assist the Marion County area who will come to us for help with obtaining life’s basic necessities.” Hall says many people are working poor, struggling to make ends meet and to provide for their children, as well as low-income seniors living with only Social Security incomes. Economic factors, such as layoffs and foreclosures have also adversely affected local giving, says Hall, as people find themselves with less discretionary income and the economic instability has affected not only those who were already struggling, but also the generous people who would usually feel compelled to offer financial support. The Salvation Army feeds 114 hungry people every minute in the U.S. Last year the organization provided more than 59 million meals for hungry children and families. The Salvation Army in Central City urges local residents to donate generously before year-end. Those gifts, comments Hall, may be tax-deductible and more importantly they will help those less fortunate ring in the New Year with a renewed sense of hope. To donate to The Salvation Army, please call 532-6861 or mail your gift to PO Box 664 Centralia, IL 62801.

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