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Salvation Army: Services continued during crisis

MARQUETTE — With more and more new clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army is seeking monetary donations to continue providing food for individuals and families in need.

The food pantry operations and lunch provided by The Salvation Army in Marquette and Ishpeming will continue as the organization is exempt from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, but daily tasks have been modified to enforce no-contact operations and social distancing practices.

For example, prepared food baskets will replace the previous client-choice pantry operations, Salvation Army Capt. Doug Winters said in a press release.

People who have recently lost their employment are urged to register for pantry services and it only takes five minutes with proof of identification, he said.

Currently, The Salvation Army is experiencing a record-high number of clientele with three to five new clients daily, Winters told The Mining Journal. Last week, its Marquette food pantry provided 63 baskets for two days in a row, which is higher than normal, he noted.

“The Salvation Army has been around forever it seems, for over 150 years. And every time there is a crisis, people look to The Salvation Army to step in and help and so I just want to reassure everyone that we’re still here. We’re still open. We’re still ready to help,” Winters said. “This crisis is no different than the Pine Ridge crisis last summer to forest fires or things like that. We’re here to help and assist in any way that we can and get involved, especially right now with food nutrition for people in our county.”

Serving Marquette, Alger and eastern Baraga counties, the organization is mainly looking for monetary donations due to the travel ban in the state and officials want to abide with the no-contact rule to limit exposure and spreading of the coronavirus, Winters said.

People can drop off non-perishables at the pantry drop-box but it’s important to follow the executive orders made by Whitmer, and those can goods have to be quarantined for a time period before staff can handle those items, Winters said. He added that it’s easier if people donate via the website or send a check through the mail so staff can go to the store and purchase food items directly.

Any donation goes a long way, and by keeping The Salvation Army’s food pantry doors open, people can feel a sense of security, Winters said.

This crisis has left many people without a source of income and they weren’t prepared for a situation like this, he said.

Most people did not acquire enough in their savings accounts prior to this pandemic and Winters said The Salvation Army wants to be there so no one goes without a meal.

“For many of the people, we are sustaining part of their monthly nutrition so people come in once a month and get food from us,” he said. “(That) really supplements the other programs that they have, whether it’s (a) food nutrition program or food assistance program. They rely on us for part of the nutrition that they get each month.”

Food pantries in Ishpeming and Marquette are open from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 9:30 a.m. to noon Thursday.

Additional food safety measures and other precautions have been implemented to ensure safety of clients with the take-out service. Those services will continue in Marquette every Monday through Friday.

Clients at the Room At The Inn and Warming Center are supported by this program. However, additional funds are needed to support disposables used in serving the take-out lunch services, according to a press release.

The mobile food pantry is still scheduled from 5 to 6:30 p.m. April 16 as a drive-through operation. Clients are urged to arrive at 5 p.m. instead of arriving early to avoid traffic and wait time, the press release states.

This pantry donation was paid for by the Superior Health Foundation.

Clients with needs for casework such as emergency vouchers and utility assistance are asked to call 906-228-2930 in Marquette or the Ishpeming location at 906-486-8121.

To donate directly to the COVID-19 response efforts, log on to donate.salvationarmywi.org/wumcovid19donations or to send a donation through the mail, send a check to The Salvation Army at 1009 Baraga Ave., Marquette, Michigan 49855 or The Salvation Army at 222 E. Division St. Ishpeming, Michigan 49849, marking the check as CV19 Marquette County.

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at jjahfetson@miningjournal.net.

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