Salvation Army, Feed the Children give care packages to 800 struggling families

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.

The Salvation Army and Feed the Children arrived at the Brentwood Church of Christ on 60th Street with two semi trucks full of boxes of non-perishable food, Avon products and other essential 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.