Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trail Salvation Army has adapted and altered its practices to maintain the health and safety protocols, while continuing to provide food for those in need.
Although the church and its Rossland Avenue dining service have been closed to public access, Ministries Leader Nathanael Hoeft says residents can still access food hampers and boxed lunches.
“It seems to be a common thing, that some parts of the community don’t know that we’re still open,” said Hoeft. “We have people calling to see if we are open, and have heard that we were closed. So there seems to be mixed-messaging out in the community.”
Residents are asked to phone the program at 250.364.0445 to request a hamper or boxed lunch.
Or, if phone access is unavailable, visit the Rossland Avenue site to schedule a pick up through the window.
“Everything is ready for everyone when they come and pick it up,” said Hoeft. “So they just pick it up and go, there is no interaction. We have it scheduled by 15-minute intervals, so there is no crossover, or everyone lining up for a hamper.”
Food security is becoming more of a problem for families who have suffered layoffs or had businesses shuttered due to the pandemic, and Hoeft expects more will be in need of the church’s service the longer the crisis lasts.
“We’re seeing it as part of our Emergency Services Ministry,” said Hoeft. “Just retaining the food services and being able to handle the crises that come up in our community is part of our goal and part of our ministry, and we’re happy to be able to manage as we can, while taking every precaution that we can.”
For now, the Trail Salvation Army is satisfied with its stock of food supplies, but will gratefully accept donations of non-perishable food items and/or funds to prepare for a potentially growing demand.
For people in isolation due to health reasons, the Salvation Army can also deliver hampers.
“All of this work just goes along with out Mission statement, ‘Share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs, and be a transforming influence in our community,’” said Hoeft.