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Church donates $1 million to support Salvation Army efforts as food needs build

The funds will support food distribution in more than 150 locations throughout the United States during the holidays

A volunteer helps pack food for people in need at the local Salvation Army in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Church of Jesus Christ has partnered with the Salvation Army since 1988.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

For the second time this year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made a substantial donation to assist the Salvation Army.

The church has given $1 million to support food distribution in more than 150 locations throughout the United States, assist with an increased demand on the Salvation Army’s food kitchens and bolster an anticipated decrease in donations for its annual Christmas campaign, according to a church statement Thursday.

In a video call on Dec. 16, Col. Kenneth Johnson, national chief secretary of the Salvation Army in the United States, expressed his gratitude to the church’s Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé, the Managing Director of Welfare and Self-Reliance Services Blaine Maxfield and others.

“We know what James says (in the New Testament), that a religion that is accepted is characterized by taking care of the widows and orphans, those who are hungry, those who are suffering in this world,” Johnson, said in a statement. “And what the Latter-day Saints do to come alongside the Salvation Army and impact in a positive way those lives that are suffering — we cannot say thank you enough.”

Last April, Latter-day Saint Charities donated $5.5 million in cash donations to five American relief agencies, including the Salvation Army.

The church and Salvation Army have been partners since 1988. Since then the church has made close to 350 cash or commodity donations to the organization at locations across the United States.

Internationally, the church has supported more than 100 Salvation Army projects in 30 countries since 1994.

“We feel a small part of this great work,” Bishop Caussé said in the video call. “You have experience that is unmatched. It’s a great honor for any member of the church that gives of their resources to this cause because they know there is a trust there. It’s not only trust — it’s also something with the right spirit because we are all Christians. We want to emulate the example of the Savior, loving him and loving our neighbor. The best way to do it is by reaching out to those who are suffering.”

Combined, the April and December donations represent 52,000 food boxes, which can feed four to five people for several meals, Doug Riley, the Salvation Army U.S. Western Territory commissioner said.

“Your volunteers, your employees, your church members who come alongside and provide those hands and feet and make our distribution and pack our boxes — it’s been a godsend to us,” Riley said.

The church’s donation to the Salvation Army is the latest in a long list of charitable contributions to organizations worldwide.