Salvation Army of Marquette County recognized internationally for innovations during COVID-19
The changes made during the pandemic are featured in the spring 2021 edition of ‘All The World’ Magazine, an international publication of The Salvation Army from London, England.
MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The local response to the COVID-19 pandemic brought international exposure to Marquette.
In the spring 2021 edition of All The World Magazine, an international publication of The Salvation Army from London, England, efforts of the Salvation Army of Marquette County’s response to the pandemic were published. This can be found in the All The World Magazine on page 10, which can be read online for free.
When the pandemic hit, the public transit system was immediately shut down for safety reasons. For many in the community, this was their only means to get necessary food and other supplies. The Salvation Army quickly redeployed staff from their Family Store to pack and deliver food pantry supplies directly to all of their clients during the first month of the shutdown.
After the first month, the Salvation Army continued to deliver to elderly and non-mobile clients. This delivery effort continues more than one year later. Many of the clients getting delivery had never used The Salvation Army pantries prior to the pandemic.
“This was an immediate response to make sure vulnerable people in our community were taken care of,” said Captain Doug Winters of the Salvation Army of Marquette County. “It actually opened up a new group of people who we had not been able to help before – people who could not travel to our pantry even when the transit system was running.”
Delivery of pantry food baskets is not something currently being done elsewhere, which highlighted it as a novel solution to food insecurity issues in the pandemic. Some of the residents from Pine Ridge Apartments are beneficiaries of the pantry delivery program.
“It was a great overlap to personally help the same people that we were able to help last year after the Pine Ridge Fire,” added Captain Kim Winters, also of the Salvation Army of Marquette County.
Another service highlighted in the international article is the community lunch offered by The Salvation Army. Since they were not able to host the meal in their building, they began serving lunches to-go. Normally serving about 50 to 60 meals each day, this program peaked at over 170 meals per day.
At the height of the pandemic, The United Way of Marquette County organized drivers to take these lunches to families quarantined in area hotels and to the homeless shelter.
The lunch program continues to serve more than 130 meals each day.
“We could not do this without the continued support of the community,” said Cari Detmers, Director of Development at the Salvation Army of Marquette County. “Grants from [the] Rotary and the Community Foundation of Marquette, along with donations from our regular givers has sustained this program.”
“It was quite an honor to get this international recognition for the efforts of the local staff here in Marquette County” added Captain Doug. “It is special to see Marquette residents being listed alongside people being helped in Honduras, India, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong.”
About The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army has operated continuously serving the people of Marquette County since 1889. Locally, The Salvation Army operates two food pantries, lunch feeding programs, kids programming in Marquette and Ishpeming, on-going casework for families in need, and Emergency Disaster Services. Seasonal programs include Backpack and School Supplies distribution, Christmas Toy Shop, and Christmas Baskets in Marquette and Alger Counties. If anyone is in need of services, they are asked to contact 906-226-2241 for assistance. Donations can be made online at www.SAmarquette.org.
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