Donations to Salvation Army down 26 percent this year

Donations made to kettles in Central Florida down around $120,000

ORLANDO, Fla. - For years their programs have helped children, families, the homeless and senior citizens, and every year the Salvation Army depends on donations made during their Red Kettle Fundraising Campaign.

This year, donations are down and a lot of those programs are on the chopping block.

"Things like this, they're really the only things we look forward to and keep us going," said Nate Mattox.

Mattox and his wife Kate are homeless and trying to make it back to Ohio. Their first meal of the day was a Christmas dinner inside the Salvation Army gymnasium in downtown Orlando.

"It may not mean much to everyday type people that have jobs and things like that, but it means everything to us," said Mattox.

As of Monday, donations made to kettles in Central Florida are down 26 percent -- that's around $120,000 less than last year.

Second Harvest Food Bank provides food to the Salvation Army and hundreds of other organizations in Central Florida.

"We are very concerned about the need that exists out there. You hear of other organizations where their resources are dwindling and that puts more pressure on Second Harvest Food Bank," said president Dave Krepcho.

Krepcho said they distribute 80,000 meals to the hungry every day and that's still not enough.

"The majority of folks are working poor. They're working full-time, maybe one job, maybe two jobs, because maybe their hours were cut back or they're in a position where they're just not earning enough money to put food on the table for their family," Krepcho said.

The last day of the Red Kettle fundraiser is Tuesday, Dec. 24.

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