Message from the Divisional Commander
Meeting the need during the COVID-19 pandemic
The situation in our communities is changing daily and The Salvation Army is standing ready to meet the need during the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world around us. We have modified all feeding operations to provide food-to-go. All food pantries are seeing an increased need for support and are operating with the recommended social distancing boundaries. All food is pre-packed and placed in vehicles or handed out through doors to recipients.
Last week, Juneau Corps Officers saw an increase from approximately 35 households per week to 90 households with requests for rice and pilot bread. They also served three times the number of meals in one day than they usually serve. The Salvation Army Mat-Su Valley Corps distributed, in four days, food that would have normally lasted a month. Anchorage has seen double the number of people requesting assistance, with approximately one-third indicating they have been impacted by COVID-19 such as loss of employment. Ketchikan distributed about the same amount of food boxes in one day as they would have normally served in one month.
Many of our programs, other than shelter and food services, have closed until it is safe to be open and serve the public. We are now depending on providing church services through Facebook, YouTube, and other online means, but The Salvation Army is still here to serve. If you are in need of emotional and/or spiritual guidance, you may reach our Corps Officers, who are ordained ministers, by phone or email. You can find contact information for your local Salvation Army unit online at alaska.salvationarmy.org.
Although many of us may feel uncertainty and fear about how the pandemic may affect us or our families, you can be the guiding voice of calmness to your friends and family members. Remember to be mindful of others and do not hoard necessities to be a burden to our neighbors. When we all work together, we will all get through this together.
Remember Isaiah’s words, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
While The Army is doing our best to meet the needs of those affected by this pandemic, you can help by making donations of food and other necessities or by making a gift online at https://give-ak.salvationarmy.org/covid19relief. Remember, your donations stay in your community.
May God be with you and bring you peace during this time.
In HIS Service,
Major John Brackenbury, M.O.L.
The Salvation Army Alaska Division