Lt. Sabrina Sylvie of the Prince Rupert Salvation Army Corps, at her desk on May 1, said she is so grateful for the community support and donations because with out them they would not be able to run the food bank and meal programs they way they do. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Federal grant, plus donations, aid Salvation Army services in Prince Rupert

Food deliveries now being made to homes

Salvation Army-run food banks along Hwy 16 are already putting a federal grant to use in responding to needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nationally, the Salvation Army received $4 million of $100 million provided by the federal government to a variety of food-providing organizations in early April with the Army’s food bank covering Smithers and Houston receiving $20,000, the one in Prince Rupert receiving just over $30,000 and the one in Terrace $25,000.

“So far we’ve been able to make changes with our programs,” reports Lt. Sabrina Silvey of the Prince Rupert Salvation Army.

“Because of safety precautions, we no longer have people in our building, we are now making [food] deliveries to people’s homes,” she said.

READ MORE: Salvation Army pantry is almost bare and in need of donations

“Not only is our food bank still working, but we are delivering everything. We are going to everyone’s door.”

It’s meant dividing up the city into delivery zones, establishing a schedule, which now also includes Port Edward.

This is one area in which the federal grant is helping because deliveries mean there’s extra expense in buying gas, Silvey said.

Deliveries are intended to supply recipients for about a week and there’s no deadline or qualification for registering for assistance. A phone call is all that is needed.

“It used to be once a month,” said Silvey of its food bank. “But now we’ve taken that restriction off.”

Although deliveries do mean extra work, the Army hasn’t had to ask for volunteer assistance just yet.

“At this time we’re not asking for volunteers. We have enough of our own staff to do this,” Silvey said. “We’ve been organized and it’s running smoothly.”

As for its soup kitchen breakfast and lunch service, workers are preparing packages for pick up by clients.

“Money donated here, stays here. That’s helping us serve bigger meals in the soup kitchen right now,” Silvey said.

The Army last week was starting to collect data on local demand but it has been noticing an increase in new clients.

Overall, Silvey reports a continued high level of support from the community in response to people in need who have lost their jobs and have otherwise been affected by the pandemic.

Other Salvation Army food banks along Hwy 16 are also reporting increased demand.

Its food bank and community service covering Houston and Smithers reports a tripling in demand for food distributed in backpacks for students.

And in Terrace, the Army has strengthened connections with other agencies so that it prepares food packages which are then delivered by those other agencies to seniors who are self-isolating.

READ MORE: Doors still open at Salvation Army

The Salvation Army in Terrace has also been taking its mobile kitchen to Mills Memorial Hospital, one of three northern hospitals designated as COVID-19 primary care facilities, to provide refreshments for staff members there.

As well as the federal grants assisting the regional Salvation Armies, in Prince Rupert the business community and individual donations to the Salvation Army have shown an increased level of support.

There has been such an out-pouring of donations, Silvey said she couldn’t begin to list them all, and she is so grateful for everyone’s contributions.

“Prince Rupert does ‘community’ well. Prince Rupert is all about team work and coming together and filling a need. I’ve really notice that Prince Rupert is like a big family. When someone is hurting, Prince Rupert gathers around and supports. That is truly amazing.”

With files from K-J Millar

K-J Millar | Journalist
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Prince Rupert McDonalds Restaurant donated $2,500 to Salvation Army Food Bank on April 2 to aid the foodbank and meals programs during COVID-19. Jason Ammar, McDonalds owner-operator right, said that proceeds from the next McHappy Day will also be donated to the Prince Rupert Salvation Army on top of the funds already donated. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Lion, Harry Young presents a donation cheque to Lt. Sabrina Silvey of the Prince Rupert Salvation Army on April 27, to benefit the food kitchen. (Photo supplied)

Andy Liang, general manager of Star Dust Restaurant in Prince Rupert donated a cheque for $2,500 to Lt. Sabrina Sylvie. A percentage of the proceeds of every meal purchased is donated to support the local food bank and meal programs. Liang said he will continue to donate until the coronavirus pandemic is over. (Photo supplied)

Prince Rupert Lion, Jim Martin, presents a donation cheque to Erica Collision of the Prince Rupert Salvation Army on April 27 to help benefit the local area food-bank. Some of the funds for the donation came from the Lions Memorial Blue Knuckle Derby. (Photo Supplied)

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