The Salvation Army is looking for support from Grande Prairie as its donation bins begin to look bare. Food Bank Captain Peter Kim says, with a potential influx of families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, donations are vital.
“We are holding up the upmost dignity of people to know that they can come to us and we are able to help where we can if we continue to have the supplies available. If the demand [begins to] increase we will do our best to ensure people get something rather than nothing.”
Kim adds the shelter has 60 hampers available but shelves are beginning to look empty.
In response to COVID-19, the non-profit has changed its procedures. Salvation Army clients are now asked to schedule food hamper pick up by phone and each appointment has been spaced out to reduce interaction. Hampers will be placed near the front door instead of waiting in the facility.
Kim says all information needed from clients should be photocopied or emailed to reduce contact for staff.
“We also [had] to stop volunteers from coming in to increase social distancing. We asked our staff to put that extra effort in to provide the services we have year-round and they have committed to helping those in need.”
Kim says the community kitchen at the Friendship Centre has also put a response plan in play. Those who come in are asked to wash their hands immediately and seating has been rearranged to provide more distance.
The provincial government announced yesterday that mass gatherings were to be limited to 50 people. Albertans are also prohibited from attending buffet-style restaurants with the exemption of not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens, and religious kitchens.
The Salvation Army is working on plans for a potential food delivery truck in case the community needs increases or the facility shuts down.