DETROIT (WWJ) – Friday night marks the kick off for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign in downtown Detroit. Major Herb Fuqua of the Salvation Army says they’re seeing more and more families in need this holiday season.

“We’re preparing 10,000 food boxes for families, right now the census Bureau is telling us that 40 percent of folks live below the poverty line,” said Fuqua. “Last year … we were able to supply over three million meals throughout the year.”

They’ve got 450 red kettles across metro Detroit, including the biggest kettle in the world at Campus Martius, 56 feet high with 25,000 lights on it, representing all the families in need.

The Salvation Army fundraising goal this year is $8.5 million.

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