The Salvation Army has ramped up and altered its services in recent weeks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Major Mark Larrick, one of the leaders of Delaware’s division of the Salvation Army, said the organization’s Choice Pantry, which allows families to choose food for several meals, has been very busy as of late and has transformed into a drive-thru service.
“Our Choice Pantry has been going full throttle,” Larrick said. “We’ve switched our model a bit due to social distancing, but the number of people coming through the doors has almost multiplied by four. We’re operating in a drive-thru type setup but still able to provide food to folks.”
He added the pantry provides three meals a day for three days for every person in the household.
“Since March 13, when all this really started, we’ve had 211 households we’ve served, which breaks down to 611 individuals and 5,550 meals,” Larrick said.
The pantry, he added, is an important service year-round but is critical in times like the current pandemic.
“A lot of the folks that come through do not have means to acquire food on a regular basis, and we’re able to stand in that gap and help them out during the everyday crisis of life, especially now when everything is more difficult,” Larrick said.
The Salvation Army Delaware Worship and Community Center, 340 Lake St. in Delaware, is currently accepting donations to help out the pantry.
“We’ve identified a handful of key items that we seem to be going through more quickly than others,” Larrick said. “Those are canned meat products like tuna and chicken, as well as peanut butter, Clorox wipes, diapers and the ever sought after hand-sanitizer.”
Larrick said The Salvation Army has no plans to stop services during the crisis.
“(We’re here) as long as needed,” he said. “We do not have a termination date in mind. We will continue as long as we’re needed in this capacity. We’re doing stuff year-round, but we’re committed to helping and being there for the community in this difficult time.”
More information about the Delaware, Ohio, location of the Salvation Army can be found at https://co.salvationarmy.org/CentralOhio/delaware-worship-community-center.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.