The food-pantry shelves are sparsely lined with a few cans of soup, errant jars of spaghetti sauce and a couple of childrens’ toothbrushes. On the far side of the pantry is a dwindling supply of Depends, a somewhat expensive hygiene product that a growing number of people need but can’t afford to buy.


The food-pantry shelves are sparsely lined with a few cans of soup, errant jars of spaghetti sauce and a couple of childrens’ toothbrushes. On the far side of the pantry is a dwindling supply of Depends, a somewhat expensive hygiene product that a growing number of people need but can’t afford to buy.


The Salvation Army in Rolla is in dire need of food and supplies for its pantry. It’s coffers have depleted.


As an incentive to promote donations of food and hygiene-product donations, the Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center in Rolla is offering a 10-to-50-percent discount off items purchased at its thrift store during its drive to shore-up the stock in its food pantry, which runs from today through April 4.


A 10-percent discount is offered for each item dropped off for the pantry, up to a 50-percent discount.


“I am really anticipating a great turnout for our food drive,” said Manager Traci Brookshire. “Our local citizens have never let us down before, and I know they will help us out this time, too.


“Besides, it’s easy to do something so simple for someone else and get a discount for yourself as well.”


The most-needed items are cans of soup, canned meat, cups of Ramen noodles, spaghetti sauce, macaroni noodles, peanut butter, jelly, dry or canned milk, shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste — and Depends.


Brookshire said the homeless population is increasing in Rolla. Presently, the Salvation Army helps about three homeless people a month.


“The number seems to be increasing over time,” Brookshire said.


“People tell us they’re sleeping in someone’s barn, shed, or an abandoned home, with or without permission.”


Trial-size hygiene products are particularly useful for homeless people, Brookshire explained.


The food is used mostly for people who request food outside of the larger food pantries’ operating hours, or for emergencies, or for transients.


“Please drop off your contributions and look around our newly reorganized store,” said Brookshire. “We are not your average thrift store.”


The Salvation Army is located at 102 East 4th St., at the corner of 4th and Elm streets, in the former license bureau building and Mom & Pop’s Used Furniture store.


Large-item donations or furnishings can be scheduled for a pick-up by calling 368-4919.