The Salvation Army Indiana Division Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Mar 13, 2020

You can help The Salvation Army respond to the needs of our communities by making a donation to our COVID-19 Disaster Response. Click the button below to make your gift.


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The Salvation Army Indiana Division

6060 Castleway West Drive

Indianapolis, IN 46250



The Salvation Army Indiana Division is responding to a wide variety of needs in cities and towns across Indiana as the COVID-19 crisis approaches the one month mark. From seniors asking for food delivery to municipalities in need of help setting up emergency shelters, The Salvation Army is addressing the specific needs of diverse communities.

“Indiana is mixture of rural and urban, commercial and industrial. Every community is unique, and the shut-downs they're experiencing are affecting people in many different ways,” said Major Robert Webster, divisional commander for The Salvation Army. “Before the coronavirus hit, we were already in these communities helping people who struggle with hunger and homelessness. Now we're being called on to help people who've never needed assistance before. Volunteers used to giving are finding themselves in the position of having to ask for help. It's a tough situation for so many people, but we're here, and we'll get through this together.”

In Indianapolis, The Salvation Army is continuing to shelter victims of domestic violence and homelessness at the Ruth Lilly Women and Children's Center. The Harbor Light Center, which provides addiction treatment services to men and women from across the state, is another vital residential programs that is still up and running with protocols in place to keep these already vulnerable populations as safe as possible.

Food is the primary concern of most Hoosiers during this difficult time, but as more people find themselves without a paycheck, the requests for financial assistance continue to increase. Here is a snapshot of just a fraction of what is happening in Indiana communities this week:

  • Indianapolis - Serving two hot meals each day at the Wheeler Mission emergency shelter on East 10th Street. Providing drive-thru food pantry each week at the Eagle Creek corps. Twice-weekly hot lunches served to locals in need at the Fountain Square corps along with a walk-up food pantry. Collaborating with Midwest Food Bank and Gleaners to get food boxes to low-income families and seniors.
  • Evansville - More than 200 to-go hot lunches served weekdays from the corps building. Drive-thru food pantry open three days each week.
  • Nashville - Drive-thru food pantry twice weekly and live streamed church services.
  • Logansport - Weekday hot lunches and twice weekly walk-up food pantry.
  • Fort Wayne - Distributing groceries, bus passes, and virus prep kits to the community. Food pantry open twice weekly.
  • Princeton - Distributing more than 430 food boxes to hungry families. Food pantry twice weekly and hot dinner served via take-out on Tuesdays.
  • Columbus - Ministry bags delivered to home-bound community members and a walk-up food pantry open to the public Monday-Thursday.  Hot dinner provided on Thursdays.
  • Shelbyville - Serving hot carry-out meals to the public seven days a week and offering drive-thru food pantry twice weekly.
  • New Albany - Working with county health department to deliver food to quarantined families. Delivering food to seniors and hosting a weekday drive-thru food pantry.
  • Lafayette - Partnering with the City of Lafayette in response and serving lunch at Lafayette Transitional Housing. Financial aid for rent and utility.
  • Warsaw - Drive up pantry weekdays and delivery of needed items, like toilet paper, to a local senior apartment center.
  • Madison - Youth programming shifted to online and care packages with fun activities sent to kids. Weekday take-out feeding program for breakfast and lunch.
  • Terre Haute - Food pantry open weekdays and social services continuing by phone
  • Vincennes - Food boxes distributed to families via twice weekly drive-thru and sack lunches prepared daily for area children.

The Salvation Army is serving residents in every Indiana county, including those communities that do not have a brick-and-mortar Salvation Army building. For more details and information about what is happening in other Indiana cities and towns, visit our Location Search page and contact your local Salvation Army.

It is easy for the public to help The Salvation Army respond to the needs of their community during the COVID-19 outbreak and the many months of recovery that lie ahead. Here are just a few ways to help:

  • Donate online by clicking HERE. Donations are currently being matched by an anonymous grant up to an amount of $250,000, effectively doubling any donation made before May 1. All donations will stay in the donor's community, no matter where they live in Indiana.
  • Shop online at and search for "Salvation Army" in your area. Each Salvation Army location has a list of items they need for their COVID-19 response. You can purchase the items online and have them shipped directly to The Salvation Army!
  • Learn how you can volunteer by contacting your local Salvation Army. Volunteers are needed to help with food boxes, deliveries, phone calls, and food prep. With so many high-risk volunteers unable to help, new volunteers are needed more than ever before. Visit our Volunteer page HERE.
  • Make a bigger impact through a transformative gift of cash, large food donation, or much-needed items like boxes and masks.


The Salvation Army’s Indiana Division has received a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support The Salvation Army’s immediate COVID-19 response and to sustain long-term service to the Indiana community. The grant is part of $15 million total that The Salvation Army received for nationwide efforts.

"The Salvation Army is deeply commitment to alleviating human suffering - it's in their DNA," said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment's vice president for community development. "Through outreach to low-income individuals and families in need of food and shelter as well as counseling, mentoring and spiritual support, they care for communities every day. In times of crisis the Salvation Army is able to spring into action to help even more people through difficult times. We're grateful for how the Salvation Army is helping our nation during this pandemic."

Across the country, The Salvation Army has been rapidly evolving services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the unique needs of each community. While service looks different around the country, it includes food delivery and food box provision for individuals, families, and isolated seniors; financial support for those who have been laid off or seen their hours cut; desperately needed childcare services; live-streamed or remote emotional and spiritual care; and more.

In Indiana, The Salvation Army has set up drive-through pantries and takeout-style feeding programs to provide residents with basic yet desperately needed necessities, such as fresh and nonperishable food, personal hygiene items, and cleaning supplies. The organization has also adapted its worship services, and emergency assistance interviews to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

While these services will help Hoosiers who have been immediately impacted by the outbreak, The Salvation Army is also preparing to meet the next phase of need amid layoffs, other job losses, food shortages, and increased childcare needs.

Before the outbreak, one in six Americans was already living in poverty, and more than 70 percent of Americans indicated they would have trouble meeting their financial obligations if they missed a paycheck. A new generation of need is expected to result from the long-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. In Indiana, where 7% of the population relies on jobs in the service and hospitality industries, The Salvation Army anticipates an increase in the number of individuals and families seeking financial, rent, utility, and prescription assistance over the coming months, and potentially years.

This expected spike is on top of daily operations in 85 counties, which are being heavily strained as well. Closures due to social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak have resulted in the cancellation of important fundraisers that would normally fund The Salvation Army’s programs. The grant from Lilly will help to make up for that loss of funding, so The Salvation Army can continue to serve once the crisis has subsided.

“We are all impacted by the coronavirus, but our brothers and sisters living in poverty are feeling it more significantly, which is causing a strain on our resources,” said Major Robert Webster, divisional commander for The Salvation Army’s Indiana Division. “As our staff and volunteers are called to go above and beyond in service, we have been praying faithfully for a miracle to make it possible for us to continue ministering now and into the future, here in Indiana. May God bless those who will be served today, tomorrow and in the future because of this amazing gift of love.”

The grant will help make it possible for The Salvation Army to sustain vital programming once the crisis ends. These vital year-round programs include emergency assistance, youth sports and character-building programs, older adult ministries, summer camp at The Salvation Army’s Hidden Falls Camp, rehabilitation services at the Harbor Light Center, safe shelter at the Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center, and much more.

For more than 70 years, Lilly Endowment has supported various efforts of The Salvation Army to help people in need. In recent years, Lilly Endowment has been a significant funder of The Salvation Army's work to help low-income families throughout the country break the cycle of poverty through The Army's Pathway of Hope Program.



Salvation Army locations across Indiana are in need of donations to meet the high demand they are seeing at drive-through pantries, food box distributions, and the take-out meals that have replaced Salvation Army congregate feeding programs. Most needed donated items include:

  • Non-perishable foods like bags of beans, rice, and flour
  • Canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and soups
  • Boxes of cereal, oatmeal, crackers, granola bars, and pasta
  • Other pantry staples like vegetable oil, peanut butter, jelly, pasta sauce, and ketchup
  • Fresh or frozen bread, tortillas, and hot dog and hamburger buns
  • Fresh or frozen meat, hot dogs, vegetables, and fruit
  • Feminine hygiene products, diapers, and baby wipes
  • Paper towels and toilet paper
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants, including disinfectant wipes and bleach
  • Face masks
  • Gift cards to local grocers and grocery superstores

Please note that The Salvation Army is not in need of clothing, furniture, and other household items.

The contact information for each Salvation Army location can be found on its local website. Click below to visit the appropriate website for your community:



The Salvation Army is continuing to work with state and local officials in the COVID-19 response. Many cities and counties in Indiana have set local restrictions on travel and large gatherings, and we have adjusted our local programs and services to reflect these mandates.

The Salvation Army Indiana Division has taken the following steps to ensure the safety and well being of our staff, volunteers, program participants, and clients continues to be our first priority.

  • Effective immediately through March 31, 2020, The Salvation Army Indiana Divisional Headquarters in Indianapolis will be closed to the public. Administrative operations will continue with the majority of the staff working remotely.
  • Also, from March 17, 2020 through April 5, 2020 (Palm Sunday) Salvation Army corps across Indiana will be closed for programming and visitors.  
  • Social service ministries, such as emergency assistance and feeding programs, will continue to be provided by Salvation Army units, with adjustments made to restrict interaction between staff and those who are dependent on assistance. At some locations, this will include moving from a client choice food pantry model to a drive-through or delivery food box model. Congregate feeding programs will also shift to take-out boxes and bagged lunches. Those in need of emergency financial assistance will make these arrangements by phone, rather than in person. Each Salvation Army location in Indiana will make adjustments appropriate to its current programs and services.
  • The Salvation Army's Indianapolis Harbor Light Center, Adult Rehabilitation Centers, and Ruth Lilly Women and Children's Center are not receiving any visitors to protect clients and staff.
  • Where possible, Sunday worship at Salvation Army corps will transition to remote worship via live streaming services. In addition, The Salvation Army Indiana Division will provide weekly online worship each Sunday on and to help comfort isolated individuals unable to attend church. These regular messages of faith will help our fellow Hoosiers through this difficult time.

We recognize that the financial strain COVID-19 is putting on many Hoosier families means that we will see an increase in the number of people looking to The Salvation Army for assistance. While fundraising events supporting our programs have had to be cancelled across the state, we have set up a donation platform for those who would like to help The Salvation Army respond to this crisis. As in any disaster, 100% of the donations made to this appeal will be used for our COVID-19 response and aid to affected families.

Click here to make a donation to assist The Salvation Army's COVID-19 response.

For additional information about The Salvation Army's national response to the COVID-19 crisis, visit



The Salvation Army Indiana Division is working closely with state and local agencies to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Across the country, trained Salvation Army Emergency Response staff are on standby to assist if requested.

Ensuring the safety of those who depend on The Salvation Army’s programs and services, along with the safety of staff and volunteers, is of utmost priority. We are closely tracking progress through the Center for Disease Control reporting and distributing prevention guidance to all staff, employees, volunteers, and program participants on proper hygiene and prevention.

  • The Salvation Army Indiana Division is currently preparing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, closely following guidelines issued from government officials.
  • The Salvation Army is providing emotional and spiritual care to individuals and families during this crisis to calm fears and provide a ministry of hope and encouragement.
  • During this time, The Salvation Army will continue to serve in communities across Indiana. Our residential facilities, which house homeless women and children, adults in residential addiction treatment programs, and individuals and families in need of reduced cost housing options, are remaining open. Every precaution is being taken to protect these vulnerable populations from the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Salvation Army Indiana Divisional headquarters is working with its corps community centers to minimize public interaction regarding its food pantries and emergency assistance.
  • The Salvation Army has increased its cleaning efforts at all its facilities, including our residential facilities and kitchens. Our staff is regularly cleaning and disinfecting in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Salvation Army deeply cares for our all staff, employees, volunteers and program participants. We are distributing prevention guidance on proper hygiene and prevention.
  • The Salvation Army would like to remind everyone that the preventative measures put in place are to ensure everyone’s safety, health and well being.
  • The Salvation Army remains in communication with local officials and will work in close partnership to prepare and respond to meet the needs of communities across Indiana.
  • The Salvation Army has been serving Indiana since 1883 and will continue to do so in His name without discrimination.

For more information about COVID-19 and how to prevent it, visit the CDC website.


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