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Salvation Army ramps up services

By Staff | Mar 24, 2020

The Salvation Army is increasing efforts to meet human need.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has evolved service delivery to ensure that immediate needs of community members, first responders, and government partners are met, officials said in a release issued Tuesday.

“With an expected spike in requests over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years, ongoing public support will be needed to help ensure that services are available to existing and new vulnerable populations,” the release states. “While all are impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, the one in six Americans who are living in poverty, thousands in Lee, Hendry amd Glades Counties, will likely feel the effects quicker and more significantly. Nearly 100,000 Lee County residents living in poverty will be impacted along with almost 13,000 in Hendry & Glades Counties.”

The Salvation Army is ensuring that people have access to food, shelter, and desperately needed services like childcare through its nationwide network, officials said. This includes drive-through food pickup, community-based food delivery through canteens, and meals at Salvation Army facilities. The organization is also providing snacks and hydration to first responders.

The Salvation Army continues to provide services to care for the basic needs of individuals and families experiencing crisis with:

* Extended food pantry hours to include 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays, noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays in Fort Myers at 2476 Edison Ave.;

Regular food pantry service in Bonita Springs on Tuesdays from 9-11 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. at 26820 Old US 41 Road; LaBelle on Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. at 133 North Bridge Street; and Clewiston daily from 9 a.m-1 p.m.

Carry out service for hot evening meals Sunday through Friday from 6:30-7 p.m. in Fort Myers, 2400 Edison Ave.

All of this in addition to ongoing care for individuals already in its Family Shelter, Transitional Emergency Shelter, and residential rehabilitation program.

In the months that follow, The Salvation Army anticipates it will also serve a new generation of need that is born out of the virus, officials said. Projected impacts on the economy and workforce will likely force more Americans to seek rental, utility, and other forms of assistance. While the full scope of the pandemic’s economic impact is still unknown, canceled fundraising events and market volatility elevate the need for public support in order to maintain and grow these efforts.

“Though this is an unprecedented situation for all of us,” said Major Carlyle Gargis, area commander of The Salvation Army serving Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties. “So many of our neighbors already living paycheck to paycheck will likely face incredible challenges from these uncertain times. The Salvation Army is committed to serving those who need our help, and we are thankful for generous public support which will allow that to happen.”

To contribute to The Salvation Army’s efforts in your community, visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/give .