TUPELO, Miss. — Thanksgiving Day is typically spent gathered together with family and friends to reflect on the passing year while enjoying the tradition of feasting on an elaborate meal, and giving thanks. However, for so many, that just isn’t an option. Mississippi has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation with 22% of our population’s income falling below the poverty line. According to the Center for American Progress’ 2015 data, Mississippi is ranked at #51 with 637,128 of our citizens earning less than $24,250 annually within a family of four. Thousands struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table every day, let alone on Thanksgiving. The National Coalition for the Homeless reports Mississippi as 46th in the nation.
Thankfully, the Salvation Army is here to help! The Tupelo Chapter served over 3,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day last year and is looking forward to filling that need again this year at their Red Shield Lodge Emergency Shelter, located at 527 Carnation Street in Tupelo, Mississippi.
The Red Shield Lodge is a place for those in need to come and receive positive reinforcement, laundry facilities, a safe place to sleep, and food to eat, all while being surrounded by people who want to help and are willing to listen.
On Thanksgiving Day this year, the Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, Dr. David Chandler, will be one of those people. Dr. Chandler feels, “It is a real privilege to join hands with the Salvation Army to make sure that the most vulnerable among us receives and enjoys a meal this Thanksgiving.”
Many of the adults affected by poverty have children, and it is the primary goal of MDCPS to ensure that these children remain in their own homes with their parents. “It is vital that our agency, and those like us, do all that we can to keep these families together by providing the necessary resources,” says Dr. Chandler.
Find out more about the Tupelo Chapter’s Hope & A Future Capital Campaign or contact the Tupelo Salvation Army at 662-842-9222 or 662-680-2754, or nationally at 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).