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Keep the Salvation Army in mind all year long

With nary a can of beans on its shelves, the tables turned on a charitable organization recently.

The Salvation Army, which typically assists hundreds of Jamestown area residents per month, instead asked for assistance from the public, saying its food pantry was in dire need of donations. The food pantry freezer is typically full of ham, roasts and ground beef. But recently, its freezers sat empty, and food pantry shelves were stocked with not much more than peanut butter and toothpaste.

To get by, Salvation Army officials said they'd reduced food basket portions but weren't sure the pantry would hold out until the canned food drives started up again this fall.

The kind-hearted residents of Jamestown always remember the food pantry at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, officials said, but donations drag in summer.

But after generating some publicity, the Salvation Army said residents are responding. Already, shelves are looking more bountiful, stocked with canned goods, diapers, baby formula and other household necessities.

It's a tribute to the spirit of this community -- a story in the newspaper or a public service announcement on the radio and residents are plucking through their pantries and in at least one case, even packing a pickup with donations.

Salvation Army officials say although the shelves aren't full yet, the response surprised them.

We are distracted with debt ceilings, water releases and (we hope) summer vacations, so it's easy to forget our friends and neighbors in need in the warm months. But let's keep them in mind this season, and all seasons throughout the year.

(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper's editorial board)