MILWAUKEE -- The season of giving has arrived in advance of the holidays. On Wednesday, October 10th -- 800 struggling families on Milwaukee’s northwest side got quite the care package -- containing food and personal care items.
“Toiletries, lotions, soap, toothpaste -- your basic needs,” Faithe Colas, Community Relations Coordinator for the Salvation Army said.
Each family took home three boxes for a total of 35 pounds of needed items. Items that will last an average family of four about a week.
73-year-old Walter Wheeler is on a fixed income and says this year, he's had to ask for help for the first time.
“This will help a whole lot. We won't need to go shopping as we usually do this month. We can wait the next month now and stretch this out a long ways,” Wheeler said.
Another first-time recipient at the distribution was Jane Washington.
“I'd rather not have to do it, because I worked for 42 years, but I lost my job, so I'm glad somebody's here to help,” Washington said.
Organizers say these are the types of stories that are becoming more common -- creating an even greater need to support struggling families.
“We continue to see a steady increase of 15%. Of that percentage, five percent are all new families,” Colas said.
The distribution is part of a national effort through the Feed the Children caravan. Since it started in 2009, Salvation Army and Feed the Children have helped more than 415,000 families across the country.