CAMDEN, NJ — The Salvation Army's Camden Kroc Center will reinvigorate its youth and family obesity prevention initiatives thanks to a $105,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation.

Major James Betts, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army New Jersey Division, told TAPinto Camden that the organization is seeing an "unprecedented number" of families in need of assistance as the holiday season gets underway as well.

"This includes so many who have never before had to ask for help. Providing food and toys so that no one need go hungry or so that no child goes without a gift that brings joy and hope on Christmas morning is only possible through the generosity of neighbors like Horizon," Betts said.

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The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center's recently launched KROCares program focuses on childcare and education programs for the children of Camden essential workers. With Christmas just two months away, the Kroc Center - as part of #RescueChristmas - says it is planning for "the Christmas Railroad."

"Building on no-contact lessons learned throughout The Army’s response to COVID-19, the staff and volunteers of the Kroc Center will be welcoming families to drive through their site stopping at various 'stations' where they will receive food, toys and even a visit from Santa, himself," Betts said. 

MORE: Read "A Tour of Camden’s Kroc Center As COVID-19 Looks to Stick Around"

Horizon BCBSNJ recently provided the Salvation Army with funds to build and operate a food warehouse in South Jersey, purchase new refrigeration and shelving and stock up on "tons of food to support an unprecedented feeding operation," a spokesman said.

“We are pleased to continue our support of The Salvation Army’s important work in Southern New Jersey and across the state,” said Jonathan Pearson, Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “The Salvation Army’s [youth] programs will help more children understand the importance of eating healthy and staying active – both now and as they grow older. For almost 90 years, Horizon has responded to the needs of the people and New Jersey communities we serve."

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