The Salvation Army in Ocala, Florida, held a drive-through distribution designed to fill much more than physical needs.

To help ease the burden of grocery expenses, each car received a box of food with non-perishable items, fresh produce, baked goods, and frozen meat, but it didn’t stop there. They also received a hot takeaway meal for everyone in their household.

The Salvation Army recognizes that needs during a crisis go far beyond financial, so each person was also offered an activity bag for children in their family, a Bible (English or Spanish), and personal prayer from an emotional and spiritual care team member.

In total, more than 350 meals were provided to 175 cars that came through the distribution line.

Click here to learn more about The Salvation Army’s response to COVID-19 in Florida.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

Lt. Camilo Rojas, director of The Salvation Army of Okaloosa and Walton counties, carries bags of groceries to a vehicle during a food distribution at The Salvation Army’s offices in Fort Walton Beach. [DEVON RAVINE/DAILY NEWS]

The Salvation Army hosted an emergency food distribution in Fort Walton Beach, Florida for residents of Okaloosa and Walton counties to help meet the growing need in their community.

Staff and volunteers prepared 200 bags of groceries, each with enough food to feed a family of five for a week. Lt. Camilo Rojas, Administrator for The Salvation Army in Fort Walton Beach, says they decided to host a drive-through food distribution after seeing a large increase in demand at their regular food pantry.

“There’s a lot of people we’ve never seen before in our food pantry,” said Rojas. “So we know there’s a great need.”

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More than 2,100 pounds of food delivered to senior living community in need

The Salvation Army delivered more than 2,100 pounds of food to residents of a senior living complex in Fort Myers, Florida. Many of the men and women have disabilities and have been unable to access food and other necessities on their own for weeks.

Physical ailments and transportation changes have presented a challenge for the apartment residents looking to gather needed supplies. Bus routes have been altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the community leaning on each other for help.

“I’ve been running around and try to help those that can’t come out to get [food],” Geneva Ward, apartment resident explains to Major Carlyle Gargis, Area Commander for The Salvation Army serving the Ft. Myers area. “There is a definite need here,” Geneva continues, “We’re glad to have y’all come out.”

The Salvation Army’s Canteen (mobile feeding unit) loaded up and delivered emergency food bags, each filled with enough food items to last at least one week. Oatmeal, canned beans, rice, soup, and other non-perishables were hand-delivered to each member of the complex that needed assistance.

“Every little bit helps and we’re just so grateful for each of our donors because we are making a difference in the lives of the people right here in this neighborhood,” explains Major Gargis.

The Salvation Army has also increased its pantry service from one to three days each week to help meet the growing needs of the community. Two of those days are dedicated to taking resources directly into vulnerable communities.

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Click here to learn more about The Salvation Army’s response to COVID-19 in Florida.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

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92555022_10222595900949963_728006147902013440_n landscape pasco county floridaThe Salvation Army of Pasco County (New Port Richey, Florida) is doing its part in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through making face masks for local medical personnel, first responders, essential business employees, and those in their domestic violence shelter.

“We quickly began to realize that masks were greatly needed in our community by those that so tirelessly care for us every day, as well as the most vulnerable that we serve,” says Major Shannon Winters, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving Pasco County. “While many agencies in our area were able to fill in gaps in other areas of need, this need was left unmet.”

Masks have been provided to hospital and NICU nurses, hospice care providers, the local Sheriff’s office, bank tellers, mail carriers, domestic violence shelter residents, and the elderly. They have also partnered with the local homeless coalition to distribute face masks to homeless individuals across the county.

“We knew that we couldn’t cure COVID-19, but we could help ‘flatten the curve’ in our community if we could help provide face masks to those that needed them.” 92242922_10222596039953438_8050081306249265152_n pasco county florida

The group of makers started out as Salvation Army employees making them during their lunch breaks but has since grown to members of their women’s ministry program as word began to spread about the project.

“As this is an activity that they could safely participate in from a distance, and even from home, it helps volunteers contribute to our service to the community.”

The Salvation Army of Pasco County also offers utility assistance to those impacted by the economic climate, as well as the life-saving service of shelter to survivors of domestic violence and their dependents.

“While it has been said that we are all ‘safer at home,’ to victims of domestic violence, this is not always true. By offering safe shelter and assistance with all human needs, victims are not forced to choose between safety from COVID-19 and safety from abuse,” says Winters.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s response to COVID-19 in Florida.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

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When we think of those on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, we think of our much-needed medical professionals and first responders. Still, thankfully in St. Petersburg, Florida, one neighborhood also thought of The Salvation Army.

Pam and a group of her neighbors had seen the call to make washable, reusable facemasks from fabric to help cut down the spread of the virus.

Knowing those that live and work at emergency shelters can be vulnerable populations, the group of neighbors sewed more than 100 colorful and most importantly washable face masks, enough for each staff member and resident at The Salvation Army.

“Every day we are working with staff and residents to practice social distancing and increase daily cleaning measures to keep everyone safe and healthy,” says Lt. Colonel Gary Haupt, Salvation Army Area Commander in St. Petersburg, Florida. “But when you have a group think of you and bring you a gift like these masks, you are reminded you are not alone, we are all in this together, and we will get through this as a community, helping each other.”

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s response to COVID-19 in Florida.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida assembled and delivered care packages to 50 families, providing food and supplies to 184 children and adults. A fellow concerned citizen partnered with a local school to identify the community in need.

The elementary and middle school students residing in this neighborhood are unable to get free school meals due to the parent’s inability to take off work and lack of transportation. The families served are primarily immigrants and refugees who severely lack access to proper care, hygiene, updated information, and medical resources.

The care packages included fresh produce, meat, canned goods, juice, bread, snacks, hygiene products, stationery items, and low- and no-income resources. The Salvation Army and Feeding Northeast Florida collaborated to provide the items.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to serve those in need during this crisis, and it’s only because of the generous support of our friends, donors, and partners in ministry, we’re able to provide food for the hungry. The Salvation Army will continue to be on the frontlines of doing the most good during these unprecedented days,” says Major Keath Biggers, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving Northeast Florida.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s response to COVID-19 in Florida.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

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91104234_2809029459166273_5129621351627227136_n palm beach The Salvation Army in West Palm Beach, Florida held its monthly food distribution with a few safety modifications to continue service during the coronavirus pandemic.

The drive-through service was made possible through donations to the food pantry from the community, Palm Beach Harvest, Whole Foods, and FitTeam Ballpark.

“We are grateful for the community support of businesses such as the FitTeam Ballpark, who donated food that would have been used for the many Spring Training games that were canceled,” says Major Chip and Leisa Hall, Administrators for The Salvation Army serving Palm Beach County. “We are also grateful for the many volunteers, including Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Katherine Waldron, who withstood the midday sun to help others.”

More than 100 families (327 individuals) were served in one day, with an expectation of that number increasing over the coming months.

The Salvation Army in Palm Beach County is seeing an increase in requests across their three social services offices from individuals and families struggling to make ends meet.

Those wishing to support their local Salvation Army food pantry are asked to drop off boxes of non-perishable food items to their local unit or visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/give to make a gift online.

91402590_10163332654935333_1102329134912110592_n sanfordIn these days of social distancing, The Salvation Army in Seminole County (Sanford, Florida) is still committed to connecting with their community.

Over the course of several days, Salvation Army pastors and employees dropped off care packages on the doorsteps of church members and program participants, and even took boxes to a local assisted living facility for seniors that may be feeling the effects of isolation more acutely than others.

The care packages included food bags, water, snacks, activity books, cards, and other personal items.

“We have loved our people from afar,” says Major Julia Tarnue, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving Seminole County. “Smiles, hand waves and “hugs” through windows are not the norm, but I feel we are more connected than ever!”

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

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As a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, The Salvation Army in Manatee County (Bradenton, Florida) temporarily suspended its traditional community dinner offered weeknights.

This meal has always been free to anyone in the community in need – regardless if they are homeless or not.  Knowing this is a vital service, the decision was made to hold the community dinner outside and serve meals in to-go packages.

“Initially, we saw a drop-off in our numbers,” stated Tom Giglio, The Salvation Army’s Food Services Manager in Bradenton.  He added, “but now, with so many people losing their jobs and not knowing when they will see a paycheck again, we’ve seen a spike of new people coming for food.  We are seeing many more families than normal now.”

Since so many of the dinner patrons are not homeless, this gives them the opportunity to pick up meals for their family, while staying within the CDC social distancing guidelines and eat that meal in the comfort of their own homes.

Didi, a regular at the community dinner, is appreciative to be able to have a hot meal each evening.  She said, “I am so grateful that The Salvation Army is there to serve this dinner. I worried about what would happen when all of the restaurants had to close, but you are still here to help people like me.”

Mobile handwashing stations have also been put in place to give people a chance to wash their hands before handling their own dinner.  Clients staying at the shelter are also directed to wash their hands when they reenter the building.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

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After spectators for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg were barred from attending the race due to COVID-19 precautions, food vendors were left with an abundance of items.

With prepped cook-on-demand food, vendors could not travel home with the supplies and thankfully sought local charities to bless.

The men, women, and children at The Salvation Army shelter in St. Petersburg, Florida received salmon, seasoned pork loin, seasoned chicken, bacon, olives, and fresh fruit to enjoy on their weekend menu.

The Salvation Army is grateful to all of the community partners and donors helping continue service to individuals and families in need.

Donations of non-perishable food items, sanitizing supplies, and paper goods are needed across all Salvation Army pantries. Click here to find your local office.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.