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Salvation Army preparing for surge in need due to expired unemployment benefits

Posted at 11:24 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 13:24:39-04

GREAT FALLS — Now that expanded coronavirus unemployment benefits have expired, the Salvation Army of Great Falls expects need within the community to increase.

Monica King of the Salvation Army of Great Falls said in the first weeks of the pandemic, her office was working to meet 70 needs a day - the amount the staff meets in a week’s time under normal circumstances.

“We’ve already seen a pretty big increase over our typical request for assistance over the last 5 months or so - because of COVID. So we anticipate that as these benefits go away, that people are going to certainly be seeking that additional help,” King said.

With little notice of these unemployment cuts, the Salvation Army hasn’t been able to plan or stock up for the upcoming surge in need.

“We really haven’t been able to prepare ahead, really. It’s just that we will continue to provide the services we’ve always provided until those resources run dry,” King said.

As the community’s need for aid increases, so will the Salvation Army’s need for community support.

“We’re really hoping those people who haven’t been impacted by this financially will remember us in their giving and help us to get the food that we need and the other resources that we need to be able to help as many people as we can,” King said.

King said the Salvation Army welcomes any support but financial donations are especially helpful as it allows employees to purchase the supplies needed to support those in need - at a lower price than the average buyer would purchase those items for.

Those who wish to donate food should drop off non-expired foods in good condition. Anyone in need of assistance can contact the Salvation Army at 406-453-0391.

Those who need food must present forms of identification for themselves and all household members using the food. ID’s must include first and last name as well as date of birth.