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Ogdensburg Salvation Army seeks donations in harsh winter

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OGDENSBURG — A combination of fewer bell-ringing days and brutally cold weather meant the Ogdensburg Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign did not meet its 2013 goal, and, as a result, the organization is now scrambling to feed the community’s families.

The Salvation Army typically receives 75 percent of its donations during December, Captain Angela S. Shaffer said Monday. That money is supposed to help feed 30 to 40 families well into next year, but that hasn’t been the case this year. The 2013 calendar, which included a late Thanksgiving, contributed to the uphill fundraising battle, as did frigid temperatures, which resulted in some no-shows for volunteer shifts.

Mrs. Shaffer said the Salvation Army collected $41,000, but $14,000 was deducted for payroll, as organizers were forced to spend more money on paid bell-ringers. “Unfortunately we had to hire people because it was too cold for many people,” she said.

To keep its pantry stocked, Mrs. Shaffer said the Salvation Army has cut back its pantry availability to individual families from every 30 to every 60 days.

Mrs. Shaffer said changes in the food stamp program also mean the demand for food assistance has risen. “Many families lost about $10 per person,” Mrs. Shaffer said.

The pantry is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday for its weekly soup kitchen. To contact the pantry, call 393-3351.

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