Allen County Ohio Salvation Army assistance programs.

Partnering with local Allen County Ohio agencies, the Salvation Army assists the less fortunate. They offer support such as a free Winter Coats Distribution program and operate a food pantry for the needy. During the winter, they arrange heating bill assistance from the Family Service Office and offer After School Programs as well as many other social services.

The Salvation Army Food Pantry, which is located in Lima, provides up to three days' worth of free food to Allen County residents. It is available at most once every thirty days, as needed. The pantry supplies food and grocery items that fit the recommended USDA nutrition guidelines, and the location operates according to the Choice Pantry model. This means that the clients are able to shop and select only the food items they prefer, as they would in a grocery store. The amount of goods provided by the Allen County center is determined according to the household income as well as number of household members.

Using a working partnership with the Lima City Summer Playground, the Children's Summer Feeding Program is used to fight hunger of the youth of the county. The feeding - Playground Program serves children aged six to twelve years. Applications are available by dialing 419-221-5195 during the month of May.

Free winter coats are also available from time to time from the Allen County Salvation Army. The agency  provides gently used and some new coats as well as hats to individuals, senior citizens and families in need. This relies on contributions from the public, and donation boxes are placed at Allen County non-profits and businesses in mid-September. The registration will take place in the September time frame, and call 419-224-9055 for details.

The Salvation Army of Allen County and utility providers such as Dominion East Ohio have worked together to assist thousands of lower income customers with paying their utility as well as heating bills. They help people avoid shut-off or having their heating service restored.

The utility bill assistance program runs from January 1 through May 31, unless funding is exhausted prior to the end date. Please call the main office at 419-224-9055 during the month of January for further information to enroll. People will be given details about eligibility and/or able to schedule an appointment with the Family Service Office.




Energy bill help is only for those residents aged 60 or older, that are Allen County residents, and customers of Dominion East Ohio. They also need to have received a Termination Notice, but out of all other options, as well as have Income Level at or above 200 percent of the Federal Poverty guidelines.

The Salvation Army also arranges free school supplies and operates an After School Program for high school students Monday through Friday. Available activities arranged include Character Training, Tutoring, Spiritual Development, Homework Help, free Meals and/or Snacks, and also Computer Literacy training.

Each year, during August, the Tools for Schools Program distributes school supplies, shoes, clothes and more to eligible Allen County students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Hundreds of students from across Allen County Ohio benefit. Parents or guardians who bring children to the distribution site must show their birth certificate, their own photo identification, child's latest report card, or kindergarten registration documents for each child who receives supplies. The phone number to dial is 419-224-9055 in August.

The following programs help during Christmas, including one known as Adopt-a-Family. They are part of the Salvation Army Seasonal Services. The Holiday Assistance will give each income qualified family a free Christmas dinner food voucher, as well as a toy and clothing (when available) for every child aged 12 years and under.

Registration for Christmas Assistance in Lima and Allen County typically takes place between November 1 and the end of the month, but residents should dial 419-224-9055 during October and November for further information. Any toys or goods provided are first come and served, and passed out for free.




The Salvation Army in Allen County also allows people to volunteer their time. This allows the faith based, christian charity to offer social services for the entire community. Each volunteer is a valuable asset to the organization, and they bring a unique set of skills and experience to the programs offered.

The Family Service Office in Allen County is located at 614 E Market St, Lima, Ohio 45801. Call (419) 224-9055 for details.

By Jon McNamara

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