NEW LONDON, CT – The Salvation Army in New London is seeing a large increase of individuals and families seeking assistance at their food pantry as unemployment continues to rise due to the COVID crisis. On average, 200 – 300 food boxes and 500 food bags are being distributed.
“We’ve seen many new families coming to us for food,” said Captain Jose Borrero of The Salvation Army in New London. There’s also been an increased need for emotional and spiritual care. Captain Borrero, staff and volunteers call clients who attend services, families of the Boys & Girls Club, and several senior citizens. “We make sure they are eating well and ask how they are doing,” Captain Borrero said. Many are experiencing added anxiety and don’t know how they are going to pay their bills.
“Members and volunteers for the New London Corp have gone far above and beyond the call of duty during these most trying times,” said Linda Mariani, Salvation Army of New London Board Member. “Doing the most good with an emphasis on ‘most’ is truly an apt description. They have provided food for the countless persons in need in our communities and have been tireless in their efforts to obtain additional assistance in the face of shortages everywhere. The New London Corp members work together as a family and radiate the warmth that family members have for one another. I am so proud to be a part of this family.” The Salvation Army has set up hubs throughout the state of Connecticut as distribution centers for corps locations through Emergency Disaster Services and is working with state agencies to collaborate on the growing need.
For those who are quarantined and can’t get out of their home to pick of food, The Salvation Army has been making deliveries. “I spoke to a gentleman this week who has a disability and he couldn’t make it to us to pick up food,” said Captain Borrero. “When I told him we would bring it to him, I could hear his whole voice change. It was like a huge weight was being lifted from him.” Captain Borrero, his staff and volunteers see this every day. Emotional weight that is lifted and spirits that are lifted, one at a time.
Many residents are feeling anxious as they are confined to their homes and practicing physical distancing from friends and family. The Salvation Army has set up an Emotional & Spiritual Care Hotline for anyone that needs a listening ear. Anyone in the US can call 844 458-HOPE (4673) from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EDT, 7 days a week. Trained Salvation Army Officers and employees are available to talk, advise, and above all pray for individuals, families and situations.
We are praying for all who are adversely affected by the Covid-19 virus. Present in 131 countries around the world, The Salvation Army is serving unprecedented numbers of people due to this outbreak. We encourage everyone to find ways to demonstrate care and compassion to their neighbor in these times of difficulty.
For Connecticut: Text GIVECT to 71777
For Rhode Island: Text GIVERI to 71777
*Photo not from New London Salvation Army