Edith Cruz, a grandmother living in Ansonia, CT, came to The Salvation Army this past fall looking for Christmas assistance for two grandsons living with her. “I was so happy, they made me cry, The Salvation Army.” Edith recalled. She had gone to pick up toys and waited for her number to be called. The Salvation Army officer called her over to a large pile of bags saying, “Everything here is yours.” “What do you mean, the whole thing?” Edith replied. Along with toys for the boys were sneakers, coats and gloves. She couldn’t believe her eyes!
Christmas came and went, and winter set in. In February, Edith came to The Salvation Army corps for food and started going to church services there. The food pantry need started to pick up due to the COVID-19 crisis and Edith noticed that help was greatly needed. “God has helped me before and I wanted to help,” Edith said. “So, I started going to church upstairs and volunteering downstairs.”
Having the extra help at The Salvation Army in Ansonia has made a world of difference. “Edith is really an amazing woman,” said Major Katherine Longcoy of The Salvation Army. “She’s warm and friendly to everyone and is a woman of great strength.”
As time went on, the hectic pace became more manageable with the help of volunteers and the organizational structure of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services. A hub location was set up in New Haven, covering food insecurity needs in the towns of Ansonia/Greater Valley, Derby, Meriden, Middletown, Seymour and Shelton.
Hub locations have also been operating in Ashford, Hartford, Waterbury and Bridgeport, sorting and distributing emergency food boxes to Salvation Army locations throughout the state. To ensure adequate family meals, The Salvation Army has been purchasing wholesale foods from 3 vendors to supplement items from Foodshare, CT Food Bank and many public and private donations.