Need for Salvation Army assistance increases - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Need for Salvation Army assistance increases

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Thelma Makinster had her fair share of trouble during the 2008 flood.

"Just terrible. Real frustrating," is how she described it. "I've been living with my good friend Barb here."

But one look at the smile on her face after a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army, and you might never know she went through all that trouble. "It's just like home away from home. We come over here an awful lot, and it's really great."

Makinster is among an increasing number of people, both locally and nationally, who rely on meals like the one she enjoyed. The Salvation Army has seen the need for its assistance programs grow across the board, according to Development and Communications Director Mindi Kayser. "With all of our basic needs and social services programs, we're seeing some spike in need, especially with the financial assistance-types of programs like our rent assistance and utility assistance."

She says it's making for a busy holiday season.

Candie Edmonds says she's served more people since this summer's flooding. "Our numbers have increased about 5 to 10 percent." For her and her kitchen staff that means bigger-than-usual feasts. This one included about 250 pounds of turkey meat, 175 pounds of potatoes, 12 pounds of stuffing, and about 100 pumpkin pies.

It's a little extra work, but Kayser says she's thankful just to be working in the Cedar Rapids building, after it sat underwater in the flood. "We're just very thankful we're back in our building and that we're able to provide our Thanksgiving meal and other services we know these folks are counting on."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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