The Salvation Army in North Omaha Helps Fill the Food Gap for Area Seniors
Most of the residents of Crown Tower -- a low-income housing development for older adults in north Omaha -- don’t often leave their apartments these days. Because of the risk of COVID-19, seniors – particularly those with chronic health conditions – have been encouraged to shelter in place. “Even the community room and other common spaces are closed,” said Sue, a longtime Crown Tower resident. “I miss going out to Walmart every week.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of daily life for the past three months, including The Salvation Army’s operations in the Omaha metro. Prior to the outbreak, staff from The Salvation Army’s North Corps picked up seniors from Crown Tower once a week for a shopping excursion to Walmart. It was an opportunity for residents not only to stock up on supplies, but also to enjoy a social outing.
Since March, however, most seniors at Crown Tower are sheltering in place, so The Salvation Army is helping to fill the gap by delivering boxes of canned goods, rice, pasta, bread and meat to their doorstep.
“It’s been very isolating. I feel like I am locked in my apartment,” said Wilma. “But this helps,” she said, gesturing to The Salvation Army’s van parked at Crown Tower’s entrance.
Lt. Kenneth Jones assured Sue, Wilma and other seniors who gathered to pick up their food boxes that as stay-at-home restrictions ease and infection rates decrease in Omaha, he hopes to be able to resume the weekly Walmart outings. In the meantime, however, he is grateful to be able to provide food and at least a few minutes of socializing with the seniors who greet him in the parking lot.
“It’s definitely not the same as getting out every week,” Lt. Jones admitted. “But we’re all doing the best we can right now, given the challenging circumstances.”