Salvation Army sees spike in demand, drop in donations

TORONTO — As the cost of living continues to rise, officials from the Salvation Army Thrift Store have seen a major spike in consumer demand, but a sharp decrease in donations.

The organization, which has locations across Canada, calls it a “concerning trend” that strains its ability to effectively serve communities.

“The situation is critical as this is the first time we are experiencing a shortfall in donations at this time of year,” said Ted Troughton, managing director of The Salvation Army Thrift Store, in a news release.

“Our teams are having to be creative and modify the store layouts to accommodate the scarcity of products and prevent empty shelves.”

The Salvation Army said one of the many factors that contribute to a lack of donations is online marketplaces. More Canadians are turning to platforms like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace to resell used items to earn additional income instead of donating them.

“In these challenging times, we acknowledge the hardships many individuals face,” said Troughton.

“However, it’s important to remember that when Canadians choose to donate to our Thrift Stores, they’re making a profound impact on the lives of our neighbours in need.”

Officials said that donations are the lifeblood of The Salvation Army Thrift Store, and the organization is calling on Canadians, communities and businesses to help them bridge the gap.

The non-profit is seeking public donations and business inventory contributions, with a particular focus on everyday household items like kitchenware, home decor, housewares, ceramics and small appliances.

“The Salvation Army Thrift Store remains steadfast in its commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of Canadians in need, but we cannot do it alone,” said Troughton.

“If each Canadian household donated two bags or boxes of items they no longer need or want, it would definitely help us replenish our shelves and strengthen our ability to serve those who depend on us the most.”