BINGHAMTON, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) Free daily meals have resumed at the Salvation Army in downtown Binghamton after they were temporarily halted following a fight outside its facility last week.
An altercation among people waiting outside the Salvation Army at 131 Washington Street alarmed neighboring businesses, leading to a temporary pause in the free breakfasts and dinners.
Salvation Army offers a free breakfast Monday through Friday and free dinners Thursday through Monday. Ever since the start of the pandemic, the charity has shifted from providing an indoor sit-down meal to grab and go.
Salvation Army officials say many of their clients remain wary of coming indoors. However, the behavior of clients waiting in line, including last week’s fight, lead to a meeting between business owners, Mayor Jared Kraham’s office and the organization that lead to a pause in the free meal program starting October 6.
The meals resumed Thursday with a return to indoor sit-down meals for breakfast. Dinners remain takeout, but the Mayor’s Office says Binghamton Police are working with the Salvation Army on ways to improve safety.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is in the process of buying 86 Walnut Street with plans to renovate the building and move its operations there. The Mayor’s Office says Walnut Street will be a better location for clients and the move will support the continued revitalization of Washington Street.