Among the businesses and organizations stepping up to help fight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the Salvation Army of North Texas.
Executive director Beckie Wach recently spoke of the nonprofit’s work with the Sun.
“The Salvation Army of North Texas is the region’s largest social service provider,” she said. “Faithful to our mission, The Salvation Army enables God-empowered transformations of individuals and society through food assistance, shelter, rehabilitation, counseling, spiritual support, mentoring, job placement and more.”
One of the ways The Salvation Army is helping is with the drive-through grocery service it provides at 13 of its service locations, including its site at 620 Farley St. in Waxahachie.
The Waxahachie Corps Community Center’s grocery drive-through hours are from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
At this time, The Salvation Army has made its services more accessible by suspending income verification and other typical requirements so as to serve anyone who presents a need, Wach said.
At each location, social service professionals wear gloves and other personal protective equipment as needed, with social distancing maintained by families remaining in their cars. Groceries are placed outside of vehicles and families are asked to put bags in their own vehicles. For those without a car, grocery bags are placed on the ground 6 feet away.
In addition to drive-through grocery service, The Salvation Army of North Texas is deploying case managers to deliver food to senior citizens, veterans and individuals in permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing and high-utilizer programs.
In Ellis County, The Salvation Army also is partnering with Waxahachie ISD to provide meals to students, with distribution Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to children under the age of 18. Each child receives breakfast and lunch for two days on Monday and Wednesday. On Friday, each child receives breakfast and lunch for three days.
“The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever, and however we can through a range of services to combat poverty, addiction and homelessness at 17 centers of operation in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton and Ellis counties,” Wach said. “The Salvation Army of North Texas is ramping up and continuing its services, particularly as it relates to housing and feeding during this pandemic.
“We have seen an increase in the demand for services and expect that need to continue to grow,” Wach said, noting that the organization also has increased feeding at its shelters, where clients are welcome to stay during the day.
Cleaning protocols have been enhanced, with educational programming and activities provided for children to continue their education. Spiritual care at shelters also has been increased for those clients interested in participating, she said.
“We serve thousands of individuals each day, especially as demand continues to increase,” Wach said of The Salvation Army of North Texas’ outreach. “Our footprint across 4,078 square miles allows us to reach our most vulnerable neighbors and serve 82,000 individuals – a resounding 10-percent of North Texans fighting poverty every year.”
Even with the increased demand for services, Wach said the organization “remains steadfast” to its mission to help people in need “wherever and for however long it exists.”
“Our already in-place network across the five major counties of North Texas helps our organization provide essential services without making major changes to our daily operations,” said Major Barbara Rich, area commander for The Salvation Army of North Texas. “As the region’s largest provider of social services, we’re prepared to meet demand wherever and for however long it exists.”
For more information about services offered across North Texas and or to donate, visit www.SalvationArmyNorthTexas.org. Contact the Waxahachie location at 972-937-7727.