The Salvation Army, the nation’s largest social services organization with more than 7,600 service locations across the country, is increasing efforts to meet human needs. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has evolved service delivery to ensure that immediate needs of community members, first responders, and government partners are met.
With an expected spike in requests over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years, ongoing public support will be needed to help ensure that services are available to existing and new vulnerable populations. While all are impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, the one in six Americans who are living in poverty will likely feel the effects quicker and more significantly. In Florida, that means more than 3 million of our neighbors living in poverty will be impacted.
The Salvation Army is ensuring that people have access to food, shelter, and desperately needed services like childcare through its nationwide network. This includes drive-through food pickup, community-based food delivery through canteens, and meals at Salvation Army facilities. The organization is also providing snacks and hydration to first responders.
Since COVID-19 response began, The Salvation Army has provided the following to individuals and families in need across Florida (to date):
- 72,568 meals, drinks, and snacks
- 59,637 personal protective equipment (PPE) items
- 26,913 food boxes
- 10,529 nights of shelter
- 5,704 comfort/hygiene kits
- emotional and spiritual care to 3,778 people
In the months that follow, The Salvation Army will continue to provide basic needs to the 23 million Americans it already assists and anticipates it will also serve a new generation of need that is born out of the virus. Anticipated impacts on the economy and workforce will likely force more Americans to seek rental, utility, and other forms of assistance. While the full scope of the pandemic’s economic impact is still unknown, canceled fundraising events and market volatility elevate the need for public support in order to maintain and grow these efforts.
“We are greatly concerned about the welfare of our state, and particularly those who are the most vulnerable in this crisis – those who are economically challenged, the homeless, and the aged,” said Lt. Colonel Kenneth Luyk, the Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Florida.
“Since the pandemic began, The Salvation Army has been on the frontlines meeting the food, sheltering, and other social needs of thousands of Floridians across the state, and we will continue to do so as the full impact of the crisis is felt. We are grateful for the generous support of the public, and we need their support now more than ever.'”
To contribute to The Salvation Army’s efforts in your community, visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/give.