It isn’t uncommon to hear reminders about making food or blood donations during the summer months, but it’s not everyday you hear about a shortage of clothing.

The Salvation Army says its thrift stores are in desperate need of clothing donations and three of the six Halifax locations have run out of stock to replenish the racks.

“I go to a lot of the different stores for my family,” says customer Lynn McDonald. “Some of them, especially the one in the south end, is really in dire need. There’s not a lot there, and in Sackville as well.”

Driver Garret Pettipas delivers goods to the stores and he says he’s often asked if he can get more clothing. He also says things were fairly busy last month, but they have slowed down considerably.

“Today I got about 60 bags, normally you get 200,” says Pettipas.

District manager Barb Warren says that while the racks may look full from the floor, the main problem is in the back room. She says there’s not enough stock out back to replenish the racks once the clothing is gone, and three stores have run out entirely.

“A small store could go through 80 to 100 bags a day,” says Warren. “I haven’t had to appeal in this manner.”

Mel Boutilier is the executive director at Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank in Halifax and he has had to make similar appeals for his food bank before.

“An organization putting an appeal of clothing is unusual,” he says.

So far, he says his clothing and furniture donations are holding up. He believes the shortage at the Salvation Army may be due in part to the number of organizations actively calling and offering to pick up clothing donations.

“Undoubtedly they make a difference with the amount of clothes that they would be able to bring in from their drives, and so that may be one of the problems,” says Boutilier.

Warren says the economy may also be playing a role.

“What I think it could be is the economy is tight right now and people are not shopping as much,” she says. “People are holding onto their clothing for a lot longer as well.”

Whatever the reason, she says the Salvation Army will need thousands of bags of clothing to get through the shortage.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jacqueline Foster