Salvation Army says requests up for holiday help

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Salvation Army says food and toy requests for the upcoming holidays have increased sharply in the Twin Cities.

The regional office has received more than 4,800 applications from families since Nov. 7 when the charity started receiving requests. That’s up nearly 15 percent from the same time last year.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Annette Bauer says the charity is seeing increased need in suburbs and outlying areas. It has opened two additional toy shops this year in Anoka and Stillwater. Five Salvation Army toy shops are stocked with donations from the public collected from most area Wal-Mart stores the day after Thanksgiving.

The Star Tribune says families have until Dec. 8 to apply for help for the holidays. Last year, the regional charity distributed toys to more than 31,000 children.