The Salvation Army has provided over 1 million meals to Connecticut residents during the Coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-March, 1,006,629 meals were provided, and 68,030 people have been served. Emotional and spiritual care was provided 3,648 times and 831 volunteers have provided important logistical support throughout the state.
“The need for food assistance has greatly increased during this pandemic, and we are forever grateful to our donors, local foundations and corporations who have helped provide this much-needed support,” said Debbie Camner, Advancement Director for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England Division. “Since 1865, The Salvation Army has been a beacon of light for the underserved and marginalized. During the COVID-19 crisis, the faces of those who need help have changed greatly. I am proud that we are here to serve all who need us.”
“Every week since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have sent out volunteer opportunities available at our various locations and every week I am amazed with the faithful volunteers that are stepping up to meet that need,” said Katheryn Perrett, Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England Division. “Whether it was packing emergency food boxes, unloading food deliveries or donations, or helping at the distribution sites…these volunteers have made it happen! They come in with a joyful spirit ready to serve those in need. We are just so appreciative to those who are willing to give of their time to come alongside The Salvation Army!”
The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Department is continuing to provide emergency food to those in need as a result of COVID-19. Hub locations have been operating in Ashford, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport, sorting and distributing emergency food boxes to Salvation Army locations throughout the state. To ensure adequate family meals, we are purchasing wholesale foods from 3 vendors to supplement items from Foodshare, CT Food Bank and many public and private donations.
“It’s hard to believe that the numbers of meals we have been able to provide to Connecticut residents has surpassed 1,000,000,” said Major Greg Hartshorn, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England Division, “It speaks to the sheer magnitude of this crisis, but also to the passion and determination of our staff and officers to do what it takes to make sure families have a dependable supply of food for every meal. We are grateful to be able to serve our neighbors in this way.”
The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of society in times of disaster, such as the current COVID-19 crisis, through its Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) department. The Salvation Army is serving in every zip code in Connecticut, including 17 food pantries and 29 Service Unit towns, reaching vulnerable populations where established social services are minimal.
The Salvation Army’s EDS department is coordinating with state and local leads to determine gap feeding needs for vulnerable populations across the state. With the increased need and scarce food resources available throughout the state, EDS is continually working to secure food products from multiple sources and assemble and then distribute hundreds of these food boxes to hard-hit areas each week. “We are committed to helping those impacted by COVID through all phases of their recovery and rebuilding,” said Chris Farrand, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England and Massachusetts Divisions.
The Salvation Army has introduced an Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline for anyone in the US to call during the pandemic. Its hours of operation are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EDT. By calling 844 458-HOPE (4673) trained Salvation Army Officers and employees are available to talk, advise, and above all pray for individuals, families and situations. Anyone who is feeling lonely, isolated, or fearful of the coronavirus outbreak can call the hotline number to reach a friendly and reassuring voice.