Petoskey Salvation Army still helping those in need

The Salvation Army of Petoskey continues to adapt services for those in need as new information continues to unfold.

Since the Michigan shutdown began on March 16, we have supplied $14,544.67 of Emergency Financial Assistance, and have delivered close to 1,000 hot meals along with numerous grocery orders and food boxes from our pantry to many vulnerable neighbors thanks to a few careful dedicated staff and volunteers including Petoskey’s Mayor, John Murphy.

Although Friday Night Live Community Dinners are cancelled until quarantines are lifted, we have been delivering warm prepared meals to low-income seniors; mobility impaired disabled, Nehemiah and Mary Margaret homeless shelter residents. We have now more than tripled the number of people we serve as we are now delivering 116-130 three times a week on Monday; Wednesday and Friday Evenings and also have carry-outs available for everyone else we regularly serve on Fridays who are able to pick up their meals.

Prior to COVID 19, we were busing most of those we are serving to our Community Dinner so it just made sense to reach out to those we were already serving. All involved wear protective gear to protect the vulnerable as well as essential staff and volunteers. This way we can reduce the number of times seniors and other vulnerable people have to visit grocery stores and other public places that are so dangerous to those with weakened immune systems. We also have limited delivery services for those who need grocery items but aren’t able to go out for them on their own or need a box of food from our pantry.

Envoy, Greg Irwin says “We are taking every precaution and following all safety guidelines, but we continue to meet our mission of meeting human needs in His name without discrimination. The disparity in our well-ordered society between those who “have” and even those who can at least “get by” when measured in contrast to the most vulnerable folks among us … only grows wider in a crisis like this. Folks are hungry and lonely. The ones who need us most are the ones who are often the least capable of reaching out. So we must reach out to them. If not us, then who? The Salvation Army of Petoskey will continue to rise to the occasion and meet the needs of the “least of these” in our community. They are not the “least” in our eyes. They are important folks … they are our neighbors … and one of the most important things we can do is let them know they are not alone. We will help them through this scary time together.”

Our food pantry is still open via phone appointment and during this crisis we are allowing an extra food order per household per month. Anyone needing food should call our main line, press 0 for the receptionist and leave a message. A case-worker will then call to schedule a phone appointment and to set up a time for pick-up. We then (wearing protective gear) bring the box out and load it in the client’s vehicle to minimalize contact.

Our case-workers are also taking phone appointments for those in need of our Emergency Financial Services Program which assists low-income individuals and families with heat, electricity, rent, auto repair, transportation to medical facilities and other basic human needs. We anticipate that the number of people we serve will grow substantially due to the rise in unemployment, small business closings and other financial devastation caused by the pandemic.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible.

Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

For more information about The Salvation Army of Petoskey programs and services, visit www.SAPetoskey.org.

To give, mail a check or money order made out to The Salvation Army of Petoskey at 712 Pleasant St.

Or, visit its website, click on donate and check the box to select Petoskey and ensure your gift stays local.

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