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When the temps drop, the need rises

The Salvation Army is caring for the families and individuals who are most vulnerable to Covid-19

Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline

The Salvation Army Central Territory has introduced an Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline, available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time. Call now, 877-220-4195.

Hope is stronger than fear. You can help those impacted by COVID-19

We are already seeing a dramatic increase in requests for help – particularly for food – and are working with government and health officials to safely continue serving throughout the crisis. Our doors remain open to those most impacted by COVID-19 including: those who have been laid off, low-wage employees facing limited hours and childcare challenges, seniors who have restricted access to resources, and anyone else struggling to make ends meet.

Your gift today will provide food, assistance to keep people housed with working utilities, and much more in your local community.

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*Based on National averages

Stories Around the Midwest

View our news page to see numerous COVID-19 stories throughout our 11 Midwest states

Read Stories

COVID-19 Relief by the Numbers

The Salvation Army is on the front lines of COVID-19 relief efforts, serving those in need with a mask and a smile! These numbers reflect totals for the 11 Midwestern states of the Central Territory from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic through August 8, 2020.


Prepared meals and snacks distributed at pick-up locations or delivered to the homebound


Drinks provided hydration tothose in need


Food boxes designed to supplement a household pantry and make nutritious meals for almost a week


Emotional and Spiritual Care contacts, either in person or over the phone, have provided council, prayers and a listening ear


Cleanup and hygiene kits provided items in short supply or beyond financial reach


Referral requests and referrals to partners have addressed financial and personal needs


Cases of water provided to those without an available or safe source of water


Blankets kept people warm through cold early spring nights


Infant supplies, such as diapers, helped parents care for their babies

The Salvation Army’s Response to Coronavirus COVID-19

As the coronavirus COVID-19 has evolved into a pandemic, we are monitoring the situation daily. Safety is of utmost priority, so we have ramped up efforts to slow the spread of this virus among our employees, volunteers, and the homeless and other vulnerable people we serve.

In the United States, one in six people live in poverty, and more than 550,000 are counted as homeless. These populations severely lack access to proper care, hygiene, updated information, and medical resources, which makes them more susceptible to the virus. This is where we come in. This is who we serve.

We are working with local, state, and federal government and health authorities, including participating in situation awareness calls with federal partners like FEMA, CDC, DHS, and HHS. We are developing new hygiene and cleaning protocols to help keep safe our residents and others who depend on The Salvation Army’s programs and services to survive. In addition, all staff, volunteers, and program participants have been sent hygiene and prevention information as recommended by the CDC.

Meanwhile, our divisions will continue to work in close partnership with area government and health experts to prepare and respond to meet specific community needs of 23 million individuals we serve each year and the more than 63,000 employees of our organization. For an in-depth response, click on the link below that represents your region:

Videos messages from our leaders

Commissioner Brad Bailey
Central Territory

This video is also available in Spanish

General Brian Peddle
International Leader

Commissioner David Hudson
National Commander

National COVID-19 Response Page

Read how The Salvation Army is combating COVID-19 at a national level

National Repsonse

Previous COVID-19 Updates

The Salvation Army is on the front lines of COVID-19 relief efforts, serving those in need with a mask and a smile! These numbers reflect totals for the 11 Midwestern states of the Central Territory from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic through May 6, 2020.

Prepared meals and snacks
distributed at pick-up locations or delivered to the homebound.

provided hydration to those in need.

Food boxes
designed to supplement a household pantry and make nutritious meals for almost a week.

Emotional and Spiritual Care contacts
, either in person or over the phone, have provided council, prayers and a listening ear.

Referral requests and referrals to partners
have addressed financial and personal needs.\

Cleanup and hygiene kits
provided items in short supply or beyond financial reach.

Cases of water
provided to those without an available or safe source of water.\

Infant supplies
, such as diapers, helped parents care for their babies.

kept people warm through cold early spring nights.

The Salvation Army & Partners Respond to Coronavirus in Unique Ways

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, The Salvation Army has formed and benefitted from both long-term and emerging partnerships. These new and existing resources are allowing the Army in the Central Territory and across the country to serve those in need in innovative ways.

NFL Raises More Than $100 Million for COVID-19 Relief

The 2020 NFL Draft was an event like no other. Not only was this the first draft conducted wholly online, but it also featured a fundraising component for COVID-19 relief.

Held last Thursday through Saturday, April 23-25, the NFL “Draft-A-Thon” broadcast was hosted by Rich Eisen and Deion Sanders and featured special guest Kevin Hart. Viewer donations for COVID-19 relief during the event benefitted the following six organizations: The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the CDC Foundation, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels and the United Way.

Each of the 32 NFL teams selected one or more of the six nonprofit organizations to further benefit community needs. The Salvation Army was proud to be selected by the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.

“The Salvation Army is honored to be one of the six beneficiaries of the NFL Draft-A-Thon,” said Commissioner David Hudson. “It’s the support of community-minded partners that allows us to meet need in His name with service locations in almost every zip code across the country. Many of our local corps have long-standing relationships with the fans, players and staff of these teams, and we are proud to have them as part of our Army as we face this new crisis together.”

With the addition of those fan donations, the NFL family has now collectively raised more than $100 million for COVID-19 relief!

Matilda Jane Clothing Giveaway for Girls and Women

The Fort Wayne, IN corps has seen the use of its bi-weekly food pantry increase more than 250% since the COVID-19 crisis began. As businesses have closed, leaving many workers either furloughed or laid off, meeting other basic needs, such as clothing, is also becoming a growing challenge.

The corps turned to longtime partner, local women and girls’ clothier Matilda Jane Clothing, to provide some relief. The company donated more than 1,000 tops, pants and dresses in sizes for infants through women’s 2XL. The clothing was distributed, one outfit per person, in a drive-through style pickup.

“The clothing hand out is another way local donations from community partners have provided a way for us to serve those in need,” said Jama Smith, Director of Resource Development.

Army Houses Homeless Recovering from COVID-19

The Salvation Army of Greater Kansas City has partnered with the Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness for a new initiative. The Salvation Army’s Three Trails Camp & Retreat Center will provide voluntary housing and meals for up to 50 COVID-19 positive individuals who are either housing insecure, homeless or living with high-risk individuals during their recovery. A $450,000 grant for emergency housing from Jackson County has made this service to vulnerable COVID-19 positive individuals possible.

“Protecting our most vulnerable populations is imperative as we continue working to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a release. “Many in our community do not have the space necessary to safely quarantine in their own homes—putting their families at significant risk of also contracting this disease. I appreciate Jackson County taking this important step to provide temporary isolation housing to anyone who may need it during this difficult time.”

We are grateful for these valuable partners who are helping us serve in new and unique ways. If you would also like to help provide critical food and housing resources to those in need in our local communities, your financial support would be greatly appreciated. Please join us in the Fight for Good by donating today.

The Salvation Army continues to see an outpouring of generosity and creativity around the Central Territory in support of its COVID-19 relief efforts.

Kroc Centers May be Closed, but Still Engage Their Communities

You don’t often have the chance to enjoy a holiday light display in April, but that’s exactly what the Kroc Center Omaha offered to area residents during Easter week.  The center partnered with Heroes Holiday Lighting to illuminate the building and present an outdoor light display from April 6-12.  The goal of this campaign, Operation Kroc: SPEAK HOPE, was to bring joy and hope to the community.

Meanwhile, at the Kroc Center in Chicago, Michael LaDisa, the Music and Gospel Arts Manager, created a private Facebook group so his adult piano students may continue their lessons from home.  LaDisa provides weekly instructional videos and students post videos of their progress. 

The Kroc Center Grand Rapids has found a new way to host their popular Vacation Bible School for area children during spring break.  Like many educational programs across the country, Kroc has taken VBS into the digital age.  Free downloadable lessons, projects and activities provide kids and their families with a full week of activities to enjoy as a family and deepen their relationship with Christ.

Stitching their Bit

Today, as they provide us with necessary medical, safety and essential services, many of our heroes wear facemasks to protect against COVID-19 infection.  Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers from across the Central Territory have received requests for help and stitched their bit to support essential workers.  Joy, a Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Divisional headquarters staff member, has sewn more than 200 cloth masks for local healthcare professionals, her coworkers, and staff at The Salvation Army Emergency Lodge in Milwaukee, WI.  In Rhinelander, WI, volunteer Tammy has produced and donated 120 button headbands for staff at Ascension at Rhinelander medical facility to relieve facemask irritation.  She is in the process of creating 200 more.

Partners and Donors Help to Fill Food Needs

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased requests for food assistance across the Central Territory by up to 500% during the past few weeks.  To meet these needs, The Salvation Army has worked with our generous partners and donors to provide both the necessary food and funds. 

Some hotels and restaurants that have closed their dining rooms, like the Omni Hotel in Chicago, have donated food and fresh produce.  These essentials will be included in food boxes and use to prepare meals.  Food distributors and grocery stores, such as Sysco, Walmart, Meijer and Hy-Vee have also contributed to COVID-19 relief efforts by donating pallets of food.  These donations have helped to address current food needs.

Others are providing funds to support COVID-19 relief efforts.  In Lake County, IN, Strack & Van Til Foods is encouraging shoppers to round their purchase up to the nearest dollar amount.  Omaha-based American Foods Group – Skylark Meats donated $25,000 to the Omaha, NE corps.  The corps thanked them noting, “We are so grateful and honored to continue doing God's work with the support of [local]companies.” Additionally, both the Thielen Foundation and the Sinclair Broadcast Group held drives which provided vital funds.

Thank you to our generous donors, partners, staff and volunteers who continue to make a difference to those most in need across our Territory during the pandemic.

Largest Social Service Provider Awarded Funds for Nationwide COVID-19 Response

The Salvation Army has received $15 million in grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. for COVID-19 relief efforts. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Salvation Army has rapidly evolved its programs to serve vulnerable Americans and those whose livelihoods are being affected – in some cases, catastrophically – by COVID-19.

“The Salvation Army is only able to serve thanks to support from others, and we are extremely grateful for the generosity of Lilly Endowment,” said David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army.  “Across the country, our dedicated staff are going above and beyond to ensure that our neighbors have access to desperately needed resources, such as food and shelter. This much-needed support from Lilly Endowment will allow us to meet those needs for millions of Americans, and we hope the support will boost awareness and inspire others to give as well.”

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. Now, The Salvation Army anticipates those numbers will increase and a new generation of need will result from the long-term impacts of the virus, such as layoffs and other job losses, food shortages, and increased childcare needs. After the Great Recession in 2008, The Salvation Army saw an increase of 10 million requests for service between 2008 and 2010.

Lilly Endowment's support for The Salvation Army's efforts is being made in two grants. A $10 million grant to support the Salvation Army's national work will be divided equally among The Salvation Army’s four territories, which oversee local efforts in nearly every ZIP code in the United States.  A $5 million grant will be dedicated to efforts helping residents of Indiana, where Lilly Endowment is headquartered.

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."

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.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, it supports the causes of community development, education and religion. It funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, though it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Additional safety measures to protect the communities we serve

Around the Midwest we are taking numerous precautions to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, while still providing critical and much needed services to our communities:

  • Preparing food boxes in case they are needed for a new method of distribution. Transitioned from client-choice to food boxes. Handing out boxed lunches in place of community meals where large groups would normally congregate. Moving pantry pickups to drive thru-style and changing community meals to include safer, packaged foods. Working closely with the schools to take purchased food and give it out from Salvation Army facilities.
  • Staying in contact with government officials, including local mayors, governors and county commissioners. Working with Department of Health to identify protocol in case an infected person shows up.
  • The Salvation Army will be the lead agency in numerous communities to provide ongoing mass care for those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Working with community centers to make sure their food pantries are clean and stocked. Making sure apartment housing is clean and sanitized.
  • Adhering to all guidelines about gatherings and cancelling events for the safety of all.
  • Reaching out to school superintendents and partnering with schools to ensure that students whose only daily meal comes from school will have access to food.
  • Implementing quarantine procedures at shelters.
  • Limiting direct contact with members of the senior population to reduce their risk of exposure and identifying new ways to serve this population. Putting extra cleaning and safety measures in place at our senior housing facilities.
  • Moving to telephone interviews with clients who need services.
  • Providing emotional and spiritual care to those who are struggling. Looking for creating ways to assist donors who feel isolated.
  • To insure the safety of shoppers and employees Family Stores will be closed until April 3 and residential donation pick-ups are temporarily suspended. Read the full article, Family Stores Response to COVID-19

With the novel coronavirus now declared a pandemic, The Salvation Army has significantly increased its preparation for an impending outbreak in the United States and has ramped up efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially among the homeless and other vulnerable populations.

Salvation Army Facilities Serving Vulnerable Populations

With one in six people living in poverty and over 550,000 people counted as homeless, a disproportionate number of Americans impacted by this outbreak possibly will be lower-income or experiencing homelessness. Although people experiencing homelessness can be more isolated, they also tend to have chronic medical issues and severely lack access to proper hygiene, updated information, medical resources, and care.

In our residential facilities, close living conditions mean infectious disease can easily spread among residents. Additional cleaning throughout the day, with elevated focus on high-traffic areas, and sanitation supplies are part of every location’s infectious-disease protocol. If a resident or staff member gets sick, isolation/quarantine areas will be established, additional healthcare will be needed, and staff needs will increase.

Several industries are at risk of financial hardship, such as travel and hospitality. We anticipate a significant increase in emergency assistance for low-wage employees who may be temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus. Types of support include rent/mortgage, utility, and food assistance. 

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 working with health officials at the local, state, and federal levels – including participating in situation-awareness calls with federal partners such as FEMA, CDC, DHS, and HHS. Hygiene and prevention guidance in accordance with recommendations from CDC is being used and shared with staff, volunteers, and program participants. Additional protocols are being formed quickly across the U.S. should further restrictions be placed on our communities.


Salvation Army Efforts in High-Impact Areas

In Chicago

  • Our Emergency Disaster Services team has a standing seat on the Office of Emergency Management and Communication planning team.
  • Snacks and beverages have been provided to O’Hare International Airport for the past six weeks to personnel and passengers being tested for coronavirus.
  • Congregate senior lunch that was occurring daily is now providing meals in to-go boxes and food delivery as necessary.

In Washington State

  • Housing programs and shelter programs will remain fully operational with precautionary measures, like daily resident communication, no congregate meetings, access to cleaning supplies, increased space between residents, etc.
  • In King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties, all senior activities and gatherings have been suspended through the end of March, church services have been suspended for the next Sundays, and guests going to food banks will register at the door without entering.

In New York City

  • Rockland and Westchester Counties have suspended all activities related to school closure and government containment area decisions.
  • Where possible, staff are developing plans for remote emotional and spiritual care and worship using live-stream tools or video calling.
  • We are participating in planning conversations with NYC Emergency Management around mobile food delivery (e.g., delivering prepared meals to seniors who depend on them at NYC Department for the Aging senior centers).
  • Each facility is screening visitors in advance and upon arrival for fever or signs of acute respiratory illness and assessing existing clients upon admission to the facility.

In North Texas

  • Shelters are actively screening incoming residents and volunteers by asking about any symptoms. If anyone exhibits or reports coronavirus symptoms, staff immediately recommend medical treatment at a nearby county hospital.
  • If necessary, special quarantine areas will be set up inside the shelters, and noncritical services will be temporarily suspended.

Individuals we serve daily will feel the impacts of this crisis on a greater level. We need support from our communities to be able to continue to provide these vulnerable populations with adequate support throughout this pandemic. As the situation evolves, we will work in close partnership to prepare and respond to meet the needs of the 23 million people we serve each year and the more than 63,000 employees of our organization.