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Sinclair Cares: Salvation Army adapting to the coronavirus pandemic

(WPMI) Sinclair Cares: Salvation Army adapting to the coronavirus pandemic
(WPMI){ }Sinclair Cares: Salvation Army adapting to the coronavirus pandemic

As food banks and other agencies struggle to meet the demand for food and services, the Salvation Army has been working tirelessly to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Major Thomas Richmond and his team are taking precautions to reduce the spread of the virus while also ramping up the number of meals they make every day.

”A lot of the folks that we’re seeing coming in have lost their jobs. They do not have a place to go and eat, so they know they can come down here and get a meal,” Major Thomas Richmond said.

Richmond says they’ve cut occupancy at their red shield lodge in half from 28 to 14 so that people staying the night maintain a 6-foot distance from others.

They are also handing out meals through their emergency disaster services on top of normal operations, which has been no easy task.

“In a natural disaster like a hurricane I can get on the phone and say this is going to happen and within the 72 hours of the storm actually hitting the ground, I could probably have an extra 100 people to help assist during that. But because this pandemic has hit the areas like it has, we are it,” Richmond added.

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Friday’s their team hands out food at Cathedral Square beginning at noon.

On Tuesdays they do the same on Pleasant Valley Road beginning at 1 p.m.

They’ve been doing their best to keep up despite some shortages.

“It’s more meals, it's more people requesting services, more folks coming in to get those essentials, help with their light bill, things like that. Unfortunately the donations have not come in for us to continue doing that at a large amount, so it’s not that we’re doing first come first serve. It’s just that we’re doing the best we can,” Richmond shared.

Richmond says that Salvation Army has been in this community since 1887 and, with God's help and with the help of other people, they’ll be here tomorrow.

“We know there is power in the name of Jesus and it’s been an amazing thing for us to, without shaking someone’s hand in this time that we’re going though, or a hug, that we would be able to let them see truly that we are here doing the most good,” Richmond said.

NBC 15 and partners Sinclair Cares and the Salvation Army present “Your Neighbor Needs You.”

Our station and its partners will help your neighbors who have been economically impacted by the national COVID-19 crisis.

We remain committed to keeping people safe and informed. Our partner, Sinclair, will match up to the first $100,000.

Your support goes directly back into your local community, helping the Salvation Army deliver food, shelter and hope.

Click here if you'd like to donate to the cause.