The Salvation Army Community Services in Calgary has already served more than 2,000 people, half of them children, at pop-up food hamper events around the city in response to COVID-19. In just two events, the Army has already served 465 boxed hampers, 730 hot meals and 150 children’s lunch bags, which include fun activities.
When the first event saw an overwhelming demand for food, organizers decided to turn it into an ongoing series of pop-up food hamper distribution sites throughout the city for May and June.
“It was the craziest two hours of my life, we were not prepared for so many people needing help,” says Jane Ellen Forbes, community services ministries manager at The Salvation Army in Calgary, recalling the first pop-up event.
The initiative started as a response to a gap in services when the hot meals programs for children were suddenly no longer available after school closures. That’s when the Salvation Army stepped in and collaborated with “Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids” to bridge that gap.
“We’re hoping to be able to continue this support in various locations throughout the next two months,” says Karen Livick, executive director for The Salvation Army Community Services Calgary. “Through this simple act of support for the families, our desire is that that we’re giving them hope in this time of uncertainty.”
These events were made possible by funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as well as community donations.
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.