Meeting the Increased Need in Miami County
Like so many other counties in Indiana, Miami County saw a big jump in the need for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to emergency assistance funds for rent, utilities, and gas, local residents continued to make frequent trips to The Salvation Army's food pantry, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of people receiving services.
“Even though we had to change the food pantry to a drive-thru format, we’ve still seen high numbers of people coming through," said Angie Quinn, Ministry Specialist for The Salvation Army's Service Extension unit based out of Peru, Indiana. As things begin to open up again, volunteers are excited to be able to help individuals shop in the food pantry and return to normal operations.
“When it's open, volunteers walk through with each client and let them choose their own items. During the shutdown we served about 80 people a month. Now that things are back open, we’re looking to return to our pre-COVID number of about 170 people each month.”
Each person that comes to The Salvation Army for assistance is facing significant struggles in their lives, but some stories leave volunteers like Angie praying that the community will continue to step forward to help heal the wounds left by the pandemic.
“We had a mother with seven children that came through the food pantry,” recalled Angie. “She and her family had been fine before, so this was her first time seeking assistance. It was really nice to be able to help her and provide them with food.”
With the ending of the eviction moratorium in Indiana, keeping residents in their homes has become an even bigger priority for Angie and her team.
“The need for the emergency rental assistance has also been in high demand," she explained. “We expect those calls to increase.” Thanks to the support of people like you, The Salvation Army can continue to keep families in their homes, children fed, and hope alive during these unprecedented times.