Salvation Army goes mobile to feed vulnerable community members
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Unable to host vulnerable people inside its Centre of Hope, the Salvation Army in Abbotsford, B.C., has switched gears, and is rolling out a mobile option.
"Our mobile feeding truck allows us to go into the community to meet people where they're at, and ensure they are getting at least the basic essentials of food and water," says Salvation Army representative Mike Leland. "Not everyone can physically make it to the centre for a meal or snack."
Staff and volunteers will be handing out snacks each day from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and will be providing lunch a few days a week.
On an average day the Centre of Hope provides meals to 30 to 150 people, but COVID-19 restrictions have made that impossible.
"Of course it doesn’t work with social distancing protocols that are in place," Divisional Director Ian Pollard said. "It’s normally a sit-down meal, so we started with adapting that to take away service from the back area, and now it’s gone to a mobile kitchen with more open space."
The new unit has the capability to serve up 1,000 meals during the lunch hour.
Staff place meals from the truck, one at a time, on tables set up in front. Patrons, who are spaced apart form each other in line, are then invited up to take it off the table, while staff maintain their physical distance.