“We will continue to feed the community over the holidays.”
That was the message sent out by the Salvation Army in response to growing sentiment that it’s not operating during the month of December.
“Unfortunately, there is some mis-information circulating in the community that we have closed our door for December,” said Lieutenant Sabrina Silvey in a Dec. 12 press release. “This is simply not true. We are not closed and in fact we are operating our soup kitchen six days a week to feed those in our community who need a hot nutritious meal.”
Silvey said the Salvation Army does close its food bank in December to prepare Christmas hampers to give out to individuals and families on Dec. 20 and 21.
“We serve 500 individuals and families in the community during December, including those who would normally use the food bank services,” the release said. “This is four times the amount we would normally see during a month, the service just takes on a different form.”
On Dec. 6, the North Coast Transition Society (NCTS) and the Prince Rupert Unemployment Action Centre (PRUAC) began collecting non-perishable items in response to individuals saying they were unable to receive assistance elsewhere. It is the first year either of these organizations have provided these services.
“We just want something open and if people need something now they can get it right now,” said Paul Legace, coordinator and legal advocate for the PRUAC, in a previous interview with the Northern View.
The Prince Rupert Salvation Army could not be reached for comment before the publication of this article.