By Yoos, Cam on May 11, 2020.
The Salvation Army in Lethbridge has increased its efforts to meet the needs of Lethbridge and Fort Macleod during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past five weeks, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services has been working to provide three fully prepared meals a day through their feeding program. On behalf of the City of Lethbridge and Alberta Health Services, the Super Lodge Hotel has been providing accommodations for those who are quarantined to avoid overcrowding in community shelters. A Salvation Army canteen is set up outside to prepare and serve meals to those staying in the hotel.
“The numbers fluctuate so we’re anywhere from 17 to 25 different hotel rooms,” says Major Don Bladen, Community Ministry Officer. “So, on average 60 to 75 meals a day and that’s three meals a day.”
The Alliance Church in Fort MacLeod is temporarily working as a food collection base for The Salvation Army, as they continue to use the Family Services building in Lethbridge to store food items being collected from the church. The use of food bank services is currently seeing double the amount of people in need of this service, making the Salvation Army’s supply essential.
“We have loosened requirements because we recognize that there are a lot of people not normally food bank clients as a result of this pandemic. They are out of work and finding it difficult to get supplies,” says Bladen.
In partnership with the two local food banks, volunteers are helping deliver food hampers door to door for those who are unable to leave their homes. Food hampers are created at The Salvation Army Family Services building with food that has been donated at the food bank in Fort Macleod. COVID-19 has been a challenge for charities having to adjust to Alberta Health Services regulations, but with some adjustments to the new protocols, they have been able to find ways to continue their services for those in need.
“As difficult as this is, there is a message of hope because the community is coming together,” says Bladen. “The Salvation Army and other great organizations are rising to the challenge. It’s a testimony to our strength and to the presence of God and to all that we do.”
Bladen says the best moments come from the people who are getting the help they are providing. People who have received their services have shown their appreciation and gratitude for everything they supply and support them with.
“The impact that had on them, to just receive a comment of gratitude from someone in a desperate situation was quite warming,” says Bladen.
The Salvation Army Lethbridge will continue to bring people together and build community in the safest way possible. If you would like to help support The Salvation Army Lethbridge’s initiatives through the COVID-19 pandemic, visit salvationarmy.ca.
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