June 22nd, 2024

Salvation Army cook helps with fire relief efforts


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on June 10, 2023.

Submitted photo Stephen Roach cooks for firefighters and residents displaced by wildfires inside a food truck last month in Falher, Alta.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

A member from the Lethbridge Salvation Army recently came back from a three-week deployment to Northern Alberta and the North West Territories where he was feeding residents displaced by wildfires.

Chef Stephen Roach represented Lethbridge in The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Relief response to the Alberta Wildfires recently by cooking on the Lethbridge Mobile Kitchen.

“I was cooking all the meals for the people that were displaced from the fires and a lot of the firefighters. I was in High Prairie in a little place called Falher, Alberta and then a week after that I was deployed to Yellowknife to do the same thing,” said Roach.

 He said in Yellowknife he was feeding between 300 to 400 people per meal, three meals per day.

“When I was in Yellowknife, we decided that instead of having the food all brought up from Edmonton, we went to our local distributor and we bought the food locally, so we kept all the money we’re spending into the economy of Yellowknife to help with what they were going through,” said Roach.

He said after a few days of them doing that, the government of the Northwest Territories picked up the bills for everything that they were providing.

“In High Prairie we’re cooking for people that have been displaced, that lost their homes until the government finds them a new place or new accommodations for them. They are staying in hotels for now, but it’s easier for the Salvation Army to be there and cook for them instead of having to go to a restaurant every day and paying for that,” said Roach.

He said, he was also cooking and packing meals for firefighters that were not able to stop by and eat, as they were in remote areas tackling the wildfires.

Roach has been in Lethbridge for a week, waiting to be deployed again, but waiting to hear when that would be as the weather has changed and the need might be a bit different from when he came back.

He said he was asked to leave the fully equipped food truck in High Prairie for the next crew to be able to use it and continue feeding those who need it.

When the food truck is here in Lethbridge, Roach said it gets used a lot.

“We do a lot with the Lethbridge Fire Department search and rescue, when they go out and do training, we provide food for them and hot coffee and stuff like. Our truck is always busy it’s always on the go so that’s why our truck is the top of the line,” said Roach.

He said the truck also gets used to provide meals while people are involved in riding therapy.

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