EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Governments, businesses, and schools are all forced to change amid a pandemic. Same goes for charitable organizations that stepped up to make sure people out of work could still put food on the table.
In Connecticut, the Salvation Army has provided more than one million meals during the pandemic.
March 2020 was in and out like a lion this year. In those early weeks of the pandemic, charitable organizations like the Salvation Army saw needs grow and grow.
“We have a lot of people stopping by just for the basics of life: food those kinds of things,” said Major Mike Himes, Warehouse Operations Manager, Manchester.
They had to make adjustments. Quickly.
“We started buying food from three different vendors along with the food banks we work with all year long. We finally got to this rhythm to really being able to have a supply through five hubs like this one in East Hartford,” said Major Gregory Hartshorn, Divisional Commander, Salvation Army Connecticut & Rhode Island.
They’re still in emergency disaster mode. For people like Major Mike Himes that means switching typical duties in Manchester to running this logistics center in East Hartford…where volunteers prepare 120 boxes of food at at time for area Salvation Armies.
“Who would ever think that four months ago,” said Himes.
Four months into the Coronavirus pandemic: a major milestone. More than one million meals to people in Connecticut.
The trucks from Foodshare, Cisco, and other organizations come in. The actual meals are put together here by volunteers. But this entire logistics center was a donation from Hartford Dispatch.
From here the meals go to local locations where families pick them up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
“To keep a sense of calm, a sense of family together, family around the table. We have a meal we can count on day in and day out,” said Hartshorn.
And through it all – these volunteers taking a risk to help others.
“All of our volunteers even though they have been out and about have been staying healthy, so we believe God has been protecting us so we can do his work,” said Himes.