The hard times are taking a toll on the Salvation Army’s ability to feed the poor and needy here.
The Christian church and international charity organization is facing a tough time raising the funds it needs to support its programmes, particularly its feeding programme for people who cannot afford a meal.
Still, members of the management team have refused to give up, and Tuesday they fed scores of people with a special meal.
Divisional Commander Major Sinous Theodore told Barbados TODAY the church feeds about 250 people weekly.
Theodore said while the charity receives a subvention from Government, there was a noticeable decline in sponsorship from corporate entities and Barbadians on a whole.
However, he said the Army was committed to soliciting help from those who could afford, in its attempts to ensure the needy receive at least one meal a day.
In fact, while he was unable to give figures, the Divisional Commander said the Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal last year failed to meet its $800,000 target, making difficult to meet the demands of programmes.
“It is becoming more and more challenging. More people [are] in need. Then the economy too [is having an effect]. Those who use to give more, they loose their job and give less or don’t give at all.
“But people are still willing to help us; and the Government also subsidize our feeding programme, so we say thanks,” Theodore told Barbados TODAY at the Army’s Reed Street headquarters in The City during today’s special luncheon.
Tuesday’s luncheon coincided with the Army’s 2016 week of activities, and officials of the Advisory Board were present to serve the meals.
The Salvation Army will also host a dinner and awards ceremony on Friday night to honour and thank those companies and individuals who have given generous contributions over the years.
The Army is also preparing to host an international conference in Barbados for the women of the church.
The conference on social justice is scheduled to begin next week, and is expected to be attended by delegates from across the Caribbean and South America.