The Salvation Army's Echelon Promotes Fruit Drive for Homeless Neighbors

Chattanooga, TN – Echelon, a chapter of early to mid-career professionals supporting The Salvation Army, recently launched an online calendar to allow people to sign up to supply bags of fruit for homeless neighbors to help with malnutrition among these marginalized neighbors. The community is invited to participate.

According to Lt. James Harvin, officer over the 614 Corps and Day Shelter on McCallie Avenue, the problem can be severe with some homeless neighbors exhibiting symptoms of scurvy, a disease resulting from a lack of vitamin C that can result in gum and skin diseases, personality changes and problems healing. “Our community has always been generous to help with food drives, but this problem is more than hunger,” says Tripp Thurston, president of Echelon. He goes on to explain that fresh fruit is rarely donated. “It’s understandable that people would give food that has a longer shelf life, but our homeless neighbors also need fresh fruit and vegetables in order to thrive,” Thurston adds.

The challenge has been in how to organize contributions so that the Day Shelter has a steady supply of fresh fruit in the right quantity. The answer for Echelon is in the free google appointment calendar,, that allows people to sign up for a day and time. “By signing up to bring bags of fruit, we’re assured that every donation will be used and the fruit we serve is fresh,” says Harvin. To participate, visit For anyone using one of the new grocery delivery services, simply type in the address, 800 McCallie Avenue, and specify they deliver to ReCreate Café.

“This is a great project for church and school groups, and for companies looking for opportunities to make an impact on our community,” says Thurston.

Thomas Black