Salvation Army offers lunch again to hungry East Texans -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Salvation Army offers lunch again to hungry East Texans

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Lunch time has been reinstated at The Salvation Army in Tyler after its three-week hiatus. The program was shut down due to a lack of funding.  Now,  many East Texans say they're relieved to have the program back.

Gene Lawton, a man who depends on the free lunch, said he knew it wouldn't take long for the program to return, saying, "they wouldn't let this stay gone for too long."

And they didn't. It took just three days for the community to raise enough money for The Salvation Army to know it would soon serve lunch again.

For Michael Dick, eating lunch at The Salvation Army is very familiar.

"I've gone through the line myself and I know how it is, and times are tough," Dick said.

Now he spends time volunteering to give back to a program that he says served him much more than food.

"I've made a lot of good friends here, too, by doing this," he said. "Everybody struggles, but they are good people."

Each day 280 meals are served. Prior to those three weeks when the doors had to close for lunch, according to The Salvation Army, they hadn't seen the lunch program shut down in years.

Today, half of the usual numbers showed up. They say that's because word hasn't gotten out yet that lunch time is back.

"I'm really excited," Lawton said. "I don't care what they have in there, I'm just glad to see the program back in order."

Officials at The Salvation Army say the reason for the sudden decline in funding was regular donors sending funds to recent disasters instead.

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