22nd April 2020.
The Salvation Army: Responding to Coronavirus.
In the past three weeks, all our lives have been completely changed by the coronavirus pandemic. In particular The Salvation Army has been called on to play a major role in responding to the crisis. For over 150 years The Salvation Army has been there for the most vulnerable and at risk members of our community. During this crisis we are working harder to reimagine our services in order to adapt and meet the needs of the people we support.
Because of the pandemic, many more families are now going hungry. Many more vulnerable people are isolated in their own homes, cut off from the help they need. Furthermore there is an urgent need to give shelter and protection to homeless people in a very dangerous world.
Currently the biggest challenge is to provide food for people who are in desperate financial need and are struggling to feed themselves and their families. Using our existing food bank infrastructure we are able to distribute food and essential supplies, such as medication. We do this using a delivery system or a ‘knock and go’ process so people can receive their food parcels in isolation.
We will be purchasing emergency food supplies in bulk to meet local needs while keeping costs as low as possible. Even so, the cost will be huge. We anticipate needing 500 food parcels a week for each Salvation Army Corps (local community centre) that takes part, at a cost of £15,000 each.
Recently the team at Govan Corps in Glasgow reported they were able to help a 94-year-old resident who hadn’t had anything to eat for five days due to the outbreak. It is hard to know how he would have survived if we had not been there to help him. What’s more, the van will be out again tonight and in the coming weeks to offer even more support to the local community.
This is one example of what we are doing through our Corps centres right now. Our current estimate is that we will need to operate out of 145 centres in order to meet nationwide demand. This equates to a total cost of £2.2m per week. This is why we are turning to our friends and supporters for help in this crisis.
Your support can enable us today to provide food, medication and essential supplies to people who would otherwise have to go without. For example:
- £1,000 could provide 34 food parcels to older people who are isolating at home
- £5,000 could provide 166 food parcels to families who are financially struggling
- £15,000 could provide enough food for 500 food parcels for one week
- Or surprise us – with whatever gift you are able to make