Linda Ratke from Salvation Army Family Services, hands out lunch boxes from the Rossland Avenue locale.

Linda Ratke from Salvation Army Family Services, hands out lunch boxes from the Rossland Avenue locale.

Trail Salvation Army open for food pick up

The Trail Salvation Army has been a transforming influence on our community

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. That has been different. 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.

The service is open Monday to Friday from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m

Last year, 3.2 million free meals were served at Salvation Army shelters and feeding programs.

Guests include families with children, employed people whose low wages don’t cover basic living essentials, individuals on social assistance, and Canadians living on a fixed income, which includes seniors and people with disabilities.

Salvation Army food banks assisted close to 1.2 million men, women and children.

According to Food Banks Canada, each month, over 850,000 people turn to food banks for help and more than one-third are children and youth.

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