“We’re delivering food to anyone who needs it right now,” says Susan Strickland, family services coordinator. “And our deliveries have gone up four times.”
“We’re delivering food to anyone who needs it right now.”Due to protective measures being put into place, many who typically visit the food bank by bus, or get a ride with a friend, no longer have transportation to the food bank location. So the team decided to extend their senior program and offer the delivery of food and household items to all.
“When someone is in need, they call our office and we prepare the box. Then volunteers drop it off at their doorstep or the curb,” explains Susan. “This way everyone stays safe and there is no contact.”
While the program has expanded, seniors in particular benefit as many are afraid to leave their homes due to their level of vulnerability.
“One elderly lady told me she was scared to go out. I can’t even imagine what that’s like,” says Susan. “Another left us a voicemail just to thank us again. It shows how necessary this service is.”
“We’re going to help regardless of the situation.”In the first seven months of the program volunteers made 28 deliveries. But in the past three months alone they have delivered more than 45 food boxes.
“We started at once a month now we’re making two deliveries a month, but I can see that going up to weekly in the near future,” explains Susan. “The need increases every single day.”
Once the pandemic ends, The Salvation Army will continue to run Operation Senior Food Delivery and resume the senior visits. But for now, they will meet the increased need in the community.
“We’re in the business of helping people,” says Susan. “We’re going to help regardless of the situation.”
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.