The Salvation Army in Newport is going green.
If you drive by The Salvation Army Social Service Center and Church building on 51 Memorial Blvd. you will notice that not only have the clothing bids that once littered the parking lot been removed, but they now have an additional recycling dumpster.
In the past year, The Salvation Army has seen significant, steady growth in the amount of people using its food pantry.
Last year the Salvation Army served an average of 200 people a month. They now average 700 people a month. As a result, they have had to order more from the RI Community Food Bank and have seen more donations.
All of those donations come in boxes that need to be recycled, along with the soda cans used during their two soup kitchens a week, their office waste paper and other recyclables.
The mission was to secure a recycling dumpster to not only save money, but to also help the planet.
“We are committed to doing the most good in all ways. We are striving to use our donors contributions in the most efficient ways, we are trying to be as planet cautious as possible and are committed to fighting hunger,” Lt. Kevin Johnson, who runs the center with his wife, said.
The Salvation Army sees the value in a little. Little things like encouraging those coming to the pantry to bring their own bags not only gives more dignity and respect to the client but also helps the environment and saves money.
The mission has a new advisory board member, Steve Mecca, from Ecowise Systems, to both encourage and advise them on earth conscious practices. He is not only an advisory board member working behind the scenes with advise and give financial guidance but also runs the Soup Kitchen, digging cans out of the trash that should have been put in the recycle bin.
“Every can counts, and if we all work together we can make a difference,” Mecca said.
In the next few months The Salvation Army has plans to remodel their kitchen to more effectively serve the community and has committed to making it energy efficient.
They will also open up the community garden for the season. Using land right in its own back yard, the Salvation Army plants vegetables for the soup kitchen and food pantry. It is an excellent way to use resources to help others and cut costs from buying food.
The Salvation Army is continuously in need of committed volunteers to help in their garden, food pantry and soup kitchen.
It’s not that easy being green, and they continue to need monitory donations to benefit the Community Garden and other programs.