ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — Christmas season is starting early in Ansonia.

The Salvation Army kicked off its Red Kettle campaign and reopened its newly renovated food pantry at its headquarters on Lester Street on Monday.

The new food pantry offers a “client choice” experience for selecting items. They are also implementing a new wellness program by nutritionally ranking the food they distribute.

“We need help from you, our friends, and our family,” Cpt. Cheryl McCollum said. “With more people facing hardship in these last few years, the need to serve the most vulnerable is greater than ever.

The Salvation Army of Greater Valley serves families in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton.

In 2021, the organization served over 24,300 meals, provided over 450 families with Thanksgiving baskets, distributed over 300 Christmas toys, and served over 1,400 individuals.