“During the school season, we provide lunch every day to two schools in our area,” says Captain Kristen Gray, program director. “When schools closed, principals were concerned about families with limited resources so we brainstormed as to how we could continue to feed these children on a regular basis.”
The emergency vehicle from The Salvation Army’s Haven of Hope is now providing lunches at three different schools, every day. The truck began by serving 100 lunches, but it is getting busier as word gets out. The lunches include a sandwich, a juice box, some sort of vegetable or fruit, and a sweet treat. The truck also has day-old bread donated by The Salvation Army’s business partners that the workers give away.
“In many cases, families who were already finding it difficult to make ends meet have been impacted by the pandemic,” says Gray. “They are in roles that are significantly suffering such as taxi driving and retail.”
Gray tells the story of a single mother of six who came to the food truck.
“The mom had lost her job and was desperate to feed her children, including a two-month-old baby,” says Gray. “We not only served lunch from the truck but were able to provide her with emergency food and diapers and formula.”
Grateful for the support of community partners, Gray says The Salvation Army is in this for the long haul.
“We are providing lunches until…” says Gray. “We have no plans to stop.”
The Salvation Army continues to provide essential services across Canada throughout the COVID-19 crisis. To donate, visit SalvationArmy.ca or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.