Donations in Action: A year’s worth of food in three months
"Donations in Action" is a regular series about how The Salvation Army Northern Division and our supporters are adapting to COVID-19 and finding creative ways to serve people and families across Minnesota and North Dakota.
Below are examples of how our officers, staff members, volunteers, and donors are making a positive impact on those affected by this historic crisis.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
Please join our fight by giving a donation. Your gift will provide emergency assistance for those who desperately need it.
A year’s worth of food in three months
The West 7th Salvation Army in St. Paul has reached an incredible milestone: In just three months, staff and volunteers have handed out nearly 300,000 pounds of food – more than all of 2019 combined.
“When we started in March, we averaged 114 food boxes per day,” said Lt. Jonathan Taube, leader of the West 7th Salvation Army. “In June, we’re averaging 400 food boxes per day.” (Watch a video of Taube.)
Every weekday, hundreds of local individuals and families flock to this location for food boxes filled with meat, produce, bread, canned goods, and more. Similar food distributions are held once or twice per week at five other Salvation Army locations in the Twin Cities.
“So many of our neighbors have been impacted by the pandemic,” Taube continued. “They are out of work, and they are in danger of losing their housing. We remain open to serve them during their time of need. We’re The Salvation Army, and we’re here to help.”
Taube credits Salvation Army supporters for making this work possible.
“Thank you to our amazing volunteers and the people who give so generously,” he said. “We couldn’t do this without you.”
Old man is a scrapper
Recently we helped an elderly man pay for a tire replacement on his truck.
The man needs his truck because it is his sole source of income. He is a self-described “scrapper,” meaning he finds scrap metal and brings it to a local recycling center for cash. It’s a hard and dirty job, but it gives him enough income to pay his rent and vehicle insurance.
This man was thankful for the assistance, and ever-appreciative of the friendships he’s made at The Salvation Army. Prior to COVID-19, he regularly came to one of our locations to chat with our social services staff. He often talked about his sobriety and how he hasn’t had a drink in 10 years.
“His faced beamed when I expressed pride at his great accomplishment,” said one of our case workers. “In his line of work, not many people take the time to sit and listen to his stories or his accomplishments. But he knows our staff will always take the time to listen and celebrate with him – even if it’s now just over the phone.”
A single mother with five kids did not have enough beds for all of her children to sleep on. This unfortunate circumstance had been going on for months.
In search of a better life, the mother enrolled in a Salvation Army family mentoring program called Pathway of Hope, which gives at-risk families tools to overcome their biggest barriers to success.
Through Pathway of Hope, our case worker was able to connect the mother to 40 Winks – a Slumberland Furniture foundation that provides free beds for children in need.
Through this program, all five of the mother’s kids received a new bed to sleep on.
“The excitement that these kids had knowing they’d have a bed to sleep on was so heartwarming,” the case worker 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.