Mankato Salvation Army highlights Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Mankato Salvation Army's Noon Meal Program (FILE)
Mankato Salvation Army's Noon Meal Program (FILE)(KEYC News Now)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 3:51 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - It’s National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a time to shine a light on the millions of Americans struggling to meet their basic needs.

Mankato Salvation Army is one organization working to combat hunger and homelessness.

Its noon meal program dishes up free nutritious lunches on weekdays to anyone in need.

Thousands are served each year.

For most recipients, the Salvation Army says it’s their only meal of the day.

“We hate seeing people struggle. We don’t like seeing people suffer, but we feel it’s a great privilege and a huge honor to help them when they need it most,” said Capt. Andy Wheeler.

Around Easter and Christmas time, the organization also supplies low-income families with vouchers for holiday meals.

“You bring proof [of income], and we’ll give you a food voucher over to Cub West,” Wheeler explained. “You can pick out whatever items you want to make your Christmas special.”

The vouchers aren’t the only thing making the holidays brighter.

The Salvation Army will soon launch its signature Red Kettle Campaign, which raised enough money last year to expand its day shelter to offer 24-hour, year-round housing services to men, women and children.

“Last year, we had over 4,000 check-ins at that shelter, and we served over 15,000 meals,” Wheeler mentioned. “These are just a few of the ways that people ringing bells for just a couple hours out of their week, or their month, can make a huge impact.”

The first Red Kettles can be seen at Mankato storefronts starting next Monday.

“The money that goes into the kettles stays right here in Blue Earth County and North Mankato,” Wheeler added.

The Salvation Army is seeking volunteer bell-ringers to accompany the kettles.

You can sign up online at