“We have 1,300 children getting toys,” said Maj. Jack Butler, head of the local chapter of The Salvation Army.
Butler emphasized that all the items came from the local community.
The Griffin-Spalding County School System gathered the food, its efforts collecting more this year than last year. The Salvation Army purchased some food items and Piggly Wiggly gift cards using monies raised from its kettle drives and direct mail.
“We’re just very appreciative,” he said. “I certainly want to thank all those who have supported us and helped us be able to do what we’re doing.”
Ray Dender, a member of The Salvation Army advisory board, was present at the old Wal-Mart as well.
“Compared to what we used to do, this is very organized,” he said.
He said there were more volunteers this year than in previous years. He said last Saturday, volunteers assembled 900 boxes of food in an hour and 20 minutes.
Ariel White was one of the people waiting outside. She said she wanted to get learning toys and a bike for her son Jeremiah, 1.
Teresa Tucker served as a bookkeeper and distributor of the Piggly Wiggly gift cards. She estimated she had given away 120 cards as of 11:55 a.m. Tuesday.
“We’re expecting to give away about 560,” she said.
She also kept track of the food boxes being given away.
Tressa Lane was one of the people coming to receive food.
“My boyfriend’s out of work right now and I’m the only one working,” she said. “I get less than 20 hours per week.”
She said she has two children, which means there are four people in need of food.