The Crusader Newspaper Group

Collaboration to provide almost 4.5 tons of food to The Salvation Army

Lake County Food Pantries and the Gary ARC will benefit from the donation

The Salvation Army of Lake County has received a generous donation of needed food from the Sysco Corporation, thanks to the efforts of Aaron and Brett McDermott of Latitude Commercial Real Estate Services in Schererville.

“We are witnessing a 500 percent increase in the use of the three Lake County Food Pantries,” said Captain Brian Clark, Lake County Coordinator for The Salvation Army. “We expect and are preparing for the numbers to increase sharply, as the COVID-19 cases rise and more people lose their jobs in Lake County,” Clark said.

The Salvation Army of Lake County was contacted by the McDermott brothers, owners of Latitude Commercial Real Estate Services, saying that they had arranged for a large donation of food from Sysco to benefit The Salvation Army of Lake County’s three Corps Community Centers and its Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Gary, Indiana. The donation would benefit other nonprofits in Northwest Indiana as well.

“We have connections with all kinds of companies,” said Aaron McDermott. “We were looking for ways to leverage our relationships to help the communities in Northwest Indiana during the pandemic, and with food being the greatest need right now, Sysco was a natural choice,” Aaron said. The Houston, TX-based Sysco Corporation is one of the largest distributors of food products and related accessories to educational, healthcare and other institutions worldwide.

The Salvation Army of Lake County consists of three Corps Community Centers: East Chicago, Gary-Merrillville, and Hammond-Munster. The ARC in Gary is a residential recovery program that treats men who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Not only are the Lake County Corps Community Centers experiencing five-times the demand for food from their pantries, their social workers have also seen a significant rise in need for preventing evictions, utilities and water shut-offs, as well as providing job search assistance.

The Salvation Army Corps Community Centers remain open and staffed to serve their respective communities. Captain Brian Clark asks for the public’s patience and understanding as they adapt to the increasing needs to serve residents of Lake County, while protecting clients, staff and volunteers from the COVID-19 virus.

In addition to the food donations from Sysco, The Salvation Army in Northwest Indiana is also receiving funds needed for food thanks to the special “Check-Out Challenge” campaign running now through April 19th at all Strack & Van Til Food Markets. The funds raised by the Check-Out Challenge will provide groceries and meals to residents of Northwest Indiana who are in distress due to the COVID-19 crisis.

If you are in need of emergency services due to the COVID-19 crisis, or would like to partner with The Salvation Army to help your neighbors in need, visit

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