Starting this week, those who get food from the Salvation Army of York will have a different way to pick the food they need.

Previously, people would be given a pre-packaged bag with nonperishable food and could pick out their frozen foods themselves. Now all of the food can be picked out as Salvation Army starts its "client choice" food assistance program.

"Just like the grocery store": Norma Escobar, director of family services for Salvation Army of York, said the majority of similar organizations are doing "client choice" programs, and it will be in effect at all Salvation Armies nationwide.

“It works well for the client, because they can choose whatever is available on their shelves,” she said.

She said the Salvation Army ran tests for the program, and it has proved successful so far.

"People are very pleased with it," she said.

Escobar said that under the previous policy, some people got food they did not need, and they would usually give it back to the facility. The new program will eliminate those issues.

“They’ll only take what they will use,” she said.

In preparation for the change, Escobar said, the Salvation Army did some rearranging of the facility, such as moving all of the frozen and cold things together.

"Everything is kind of geared toward the way that they shop," she said. "Just like the grocery store."

Getting the food: People may call (717) 848-2364 to make an appointment to pick up the food at the Salvation Army of York, 50 E. King St. Right now, appointments are available from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

The amount of food people can take depends on the size of the family.

Escobar said scheduling and appointment times are all subject to change because the group is still figuring things out with the program.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.

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