Mass Press Release, March 27, 2020
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The Salvation Army Continues to Serve Massachusetts Residents During COVID-19 Crisis
Organization responds to community’s increasing needs
MASSACHUSETTS (March 27, 2020) – The Salvation Army, is responding around the globe and throughout Massachusetts to the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to serve those in need with the best possible assistance and flexibility. Across the Commonwealth, 31 of The Salvation Army’s Corps Community Centers are open during regular hours and continuing to provide nourishment and basic needs.
“Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division has distributed more than 70,000 meals,” said Major Marcus Jugenheimer, General Secretary, The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division. “The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Department is actively coordinating with state and local leads to determine gap feeding needs for vulnerable populations. Currently six of our Salvation Army facilities here in Massachusetts are activated as hubs for assembling disaster food boxes to distribute across the Commonwealth.” The Salvation Army EDS has also been asked to support the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agencies’ Feeding Task Force and is the lead on working to provide feeding to State Emergency Housing programs.
In communities like Fitchburg, The Salvation Army has implemented a drive-thru food pantry by appointment only, while in other areas like Framingham, food distributions have been moved outdoors or to delivery for neighbors who are unable to leave their homes to provide support while social distancing.
“Being able to help our vulnerable neighbors in a safe way is our top priority,” Jugenheimer explained. “Our staff have enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures at our facilities and we are closely monitoring the situation and implementing proactive preventative measures. We continue to track outbreak reports, are in contact with government agencies and are following the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control.”
Additionally, The Salvation Army’s four Adult Rehabilitation Centers (Boston, Brockton, Worcester, and Springfield) are open; however, new intakes are suspended. The non-profit organization has implemented safety protocols with staff and clients in response to COVID-19.
The Salvation Army’s greatest need is for monetary donations to address the increased request for assistance from households facing food insecurity due to various factors stemming from the impact that this virus is having on our local communities.
In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, The Salvation Army announced earlier this week that pickup service and Family Thrift Stores have been forced to close. Officials are asking donors to refrain from dropping items at its stores, donation centers and drop boxes until the crisis subsides. Donors are encouraged to call 800-SA-Truck or visit SATRUCK.ORG for up-to-date information on when in-kind gifts will resume.
The Salvation Army’s mobile disaster canteens remain available to help with local request for community support, as well as to respond to local fires and disasters.
“We are praying for all who are adversely affected by the virus,” Jugenheimer said. “The Salvation Army is an international movement and we serve in 131 countries across the world. We remain vigilant in our self-care and compliant with the advice we are given. The other part of our response is the way we care for each other. Make a phone call to see how someone is doing. Find ways to demonstrate care and compassion.”
To support The Salvation Army’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit www.salvationarmyma.org/give.
About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army annually helps nearly 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.salvationarmyma.org. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook @SalvationArmyMA and #DoingTheMostGood.
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