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We at the Omaha-based Salvation Army Western Division are responding to help the metro community amid the COVID-19 pandemic—and we want to reassure the community that we will be here to help in the weeks and months ahead.
First, our food pantry operation at the Burrows Center (6101 NW Radial Highway) is prepared to assist greater numbers of people. Staff there have been pre-packaging pantry orders into boxes in order to help mitigate any potential virus spread. Anyone in need is welcome to pick up a food box at the Burrows Center between 9 a.m-11 a.m. and again from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Mon-Fri.
Meantime, in collaboration with our community partners, we are participating in ongoing mobile food-distribution efforts to assist children and families affected by school closures. Details on these efforts can be found in the answer to question 7 in the below Frequently Asked Questions list.
Plus, our social services staff have a plan in place to provide additional support for longer-term, community-wide needs—especially for families that are facing temporary layoffs and other financial impacts due to economic-related COVID-19 developments. This additional support would include assisting people with paying their monthly bills, utilities, and rent.
Furthermore, we want to reiterate that ensuring the safety of those who depend on Salvation Army services and programs is a top priority for us. We have expanded our efforts to mitigate any potential virus spread among our staff, volunteers, and program participants. For example, extra health-related precautions are being taken in our residential facilities—including additional cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day.
We are in regular contact with government officials to stay astride of the latest developments in the fight against COVID-19, and also to stay informed of emerging community needs. We will work to expand our response to meet those needs as they arise.
We again want to reassure the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro that we are here to serve, and that we will continue to be here to serve everyone in need during these uncertain times.
Are there any collaborative food-distribution efforts going on in the metro area in which The Salvation Army is participating?
Yes! We are working alongside the Food Bank of the Heartland and other organizations in a large-scale mobile food distribution effort that focuses on serving the needs of food-insecure children – the Mobile BackPack program. This program will deliver meals across the metro on different days of the week. For information on days, times, and places, please go to the Food Bank for the Heartland's Facebook page.
In difficult, uncertain times, it can help to have someone to talk to. The Salvation Army has set up a special metro-area helpline amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this helpline is to provide a place of emotional and spiritual support for anyone in need.
The number to call: 402-898-5936.
Salvation Army personnel will be standing by to pray with you, share scripture, or just to talk—and, if desired, to help refer you to support services such as counseling.
Starting on Tuesday, March 24, the helpline will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Many of us are experiencing varying levels of anxiety and fear right now as we wait to see how the COVID-19 pandemic will unfold in our own communities. Please know that a key part of The Salvation Army’s mission is to come alongside those who are suffering to offer spiritual and emotional support. We are here for anyone who is in need of encouragement, prayer or pastoral counseling. May the peace and hope of Christ be with you.