Donations in Action: Cookies, coffee and tortillas

Apr 30, 2020

The Salvation Army Northern Division and our supporters are adapting to the COVID-19 crisis and finding creative ways to serve people and families across Minnesota and North Dakota.  

Below are several examples of how our officers, staff members, volunteers, and donors are making a positive impact on those affected by this historic crisis.

Please join our fight by giving a donation. Your gift will provide emergency assistance for those who desperately need it. 

Creative cookies

The Eastside Salvation Army in St. Paul has been thanking its volunteers by giving them Girl Scout cookies with custom-made labels. Each label includes a play on words based on each flavor of cookie (pictured). 

The ever-popular Thin Mints flavor, for example, includes a label with the words, “Thank you for your CommitMint, EncourageMint, InvestMint, InvolveMint.”

Volunteer Director Marney Lofgren created the labels after Girls Scout Troops 57444 and 56860 in Roseville graciously donated several cases of cookies.

“I didn’t want to give our volunteers a plain box of cookies; I wanted to make it more meaningful,” said Lofgren, whose team has also been thanking volunteers with treat bags and catered meals from local restaurants. “Our volunteers are enjoying the cookies and treats; they enjoy our small gesture of thanking them.”   

The Eastside Salvation Army is one of our busiest locations in the Twin Cities, providing food boxes for hundreds of families every week. Some days, the line of people waiting for food wraps around the block (pictured).

The Eastside Salvation Army is able to serve these people because of the help provided by its generous volunteers. 

“We love our volunteers,” Lofgren said. “Some of them put in double shifts during the day. They are working really hard.”

Muchos gracias, Mission Foods

The Salvation Army Northern Division received a huge donation that will make many of our food shelf guests feel like they are south of the border. 

On Monday, Mission Foods in New Brighton, Minn. donated $18,000 worth of tortilla chips, corn tortillas and flour tortillas for The Salvation Army to distribute at our food shelves. This generous gift was big enough to fill 17 pallets and require two separate shipments. 

The donation comes at a critical time, when the need for food is rising at an incredible rate

Major Roberto Viquez (pictured) is anxious to distribute the Mexican food to his food shelf guests, most of whom are Hispanic. 

“The people around here are hurting for food – many of them have lost their jobs,” said Viquez, leader of the South Minneapolis Salvation Army. “We are thankful for this gift from Mission Foods.” 


Caribou Coffee has been helping Salvation Army staff and volunteers to stay awake and energized as they serve during the COVID-19 crisis.

During the past three weeks, the Minnesota-based coffee company has served fresh, hot coffee at three Salvation Army locations, including the St. Cloud Salvation Army, the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis, and Salvation Army Northern Division Headquarters in Roseville (pictured). 

“Our purpose at Caribou Coffee is to create day-making experiences that spark a chain reaction of good,” said Kayleen Tecker, Caribou Coffee Partnership Marketing Manager. 

Caribou’s effort began soon after the Adam Thielen Radiothon event, which raised more than $280,000 for The Salvation Army and other local charities. Since then, the Caribou Coffee Bou Truck has been spotted serving freshly brewed coffee at dozens of Minnesota charities, hospitals, and other organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We all have the opportunity to be day-makers, and this is just a small way for us to say thank you to all of the essential workers and unsung heroes in our communities,” Tecker said. 

Please join The Salvation Army in serving those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.

If you are feeling lonely, fearful or hopeless due to the COVID-19 crisis, call our Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline at 877-220-4195 anytime between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Central Time. Trained Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers will be available to talk, listen to you, and pray for you. 

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