The Salvation Army’s 2019 soup kitchen fund drive ended $100 short of goal, Major Jose Santiago confirmed this week.

The goal of the drive to fund year-round operation of Sister Mary Loretto Community Soup Kitchen was $65,000. Each year the drive begins the day after Thanksgiving and ends formally on Christmas Eve, but donations are still accepted after Dec. 24.

A post-drive donation of $5,000, given anonymously, brought the fundraising total to $64,889.

“What a blessing that gift was,” Santiago said.

With that gift, Santiago said he considers the 2019 drive a success.

“Yeah, we’ve met the goal. It is a goal,” he said. “And we’re glad we were able to receive the donations so we can continue to provide the services that people need.”

Santiago expressed thanks to the community at large for its support of the Salvation Army.

“This community is wonderful. They seem to have a tender heart for one another. And for the less fortunate. We thank God that He always comes through for us,” Santiago said. “We’re not making money. We are here to serve. The money we get is to serve the people.”

The cost to operate the soup kitchen five days a week, 52 weeks a year, is approximately $150,000, according to Santiago. 

The soup kitchen opened in the city in September 1983 and served soup, bread and coffee to seven clients on its first day. Food was purchased with a $250 loan from Grace Episcopal Food Pantry.

In 1985, the soup kitchen moved to its current location at the Salvation Army citadel, 50 Cottage St.

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