WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Salvation Army helps hundreds of Wichitans who don’t have enough food.

The organization opened its new Client-Choice Food Pantry this week. It’s the second one of its kind in Wichita.

Staff describe it as a mini grocery store for Salvation Army clients.

“What we’re doing is providing dignity and respect to our clients, where they are able to come and select items that they’re going to serve and prepare for their families,” explained Jill Skaggs, director of emergency social services.

Skaggs said clients can shop for 15 pounds of food per person.

Prior to the Client-Choice Food Pantry, the Salvation Army would bag up a few food items for a client.

“We were just making an assumption that these items were things that our families wanted to eat,” Skaggs said.

Often times, families would get items that wouldn’t fit their needs in the best way.

The pantry also helps the organization reduce costs, according to Skaggs.

“I may be purchasing something in our pantry that we think people want to eat, and what we’re going to figure out is maybe nobody wants vegetable soup, and so I’m going to stop buying that,” she said.

There are three Salvation Army food pantry locations:

  • Downtown Koch Center, 350 N. Market
  • Citadel Community Center, 1739 S. Elpyco
  • West Orchard Community Center, 1910 S. Everett

If you or someone you know is interested in using the food assistance program, call 263-2769 to make an appointment.

The Salvation Army is always looking for pantry volunteers. Volunteers work directly with the families in need of food assistance. There is light lifting, walking and bending involved.

Donations are always welcome.

“Anything here we’ve either purchased with funds that have been donated, or we take donations,” Skaggs said.

Call the Salvation Army at 263-2769 for volunteer and donation information.