#WICHITASTRONG, The Salvation Army Supports massive Food Distribution
To help address the economic impact resulting from the recent coronavirus pandemic in South Central Kansas, The Salvation Army in Wichita Metro and Sedgwick County held a special massive Community Food Distribution, Wednesday April 29, 2020.
This special distribution was solely devoted to support any family in our service area who had their income or employment impacted by COVID-19. No identification or verification was needed for this drive through vehicle-only distribution. Community could get in line, drive up curbside and pick up their allocated boxed and bagged food and meats until supplies were depleted. While we realized walk-up individuals typically served by The Salvation Army would likely attend the distribution, we devoted a staffed greeting table able to schedule appointments based on the same criteria for the following day to be served from our regular food pantry.
Food products were provided by the regional Food Bank a week earlier. Our Director of Emergency and Disaster Social Services Jill Skaggs, who coordinated the distribution shared, “We know families are in need of food during this challenging time and we are happy to do our part to help our community.”
We were blessed to have amazingly committed community partner’s step up to make our mass distribution possible. Combined with reassigned Hiawatha Camp personnel, already impacted with potential postponement of camp activities available, our dedicated volunteers and staff stepped up to help sort, box and bag food items. Additionally, due to the annual 10-day Wichita Riverfestival being cancelled, their idled volunteers including our Advisory Board member, Clay Bastian, who was chosen as the event’s ambassador “Windwagon Smith”, stepped up to help box and pass out food items day of the distribution. We also received help from the Wichita Police Department to control traffic making it safe for volunteers to load vehicles.
Media coverage was very strong with all local major network television stations present to interview and share with their statewide viewers for the evening and next day news cycles.
“We have been serving in Wichita for over 130 years, and we will continue to do what we can, in the best way we know how… where there is a need…The Salvation Army will be there. Today we are providing food for our neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity”, stated Wichita City Commander, Major James Curl.