By Joanna Estrada
The Salvation Army Relations
The Salvation Army served 26,927 total meals in El Paso in December – a 106% increase in monthly meals compared to October. Humanitarian aid is a core mission of the organization, and the charity has been continuously participating in community collaborations to deal with emergency situations like COVID-19 and the ongoing migrant crisis in El Paso.
One special project is the feeding operation at several hotels for homeless families and individuals that test positive for COVID-19. This is three meals per day, about 550-800 each day – all of which are prepared at The Salvation Army facility’s shelter kitchen before being transported to participating hotels.
The Salvation Army also helps at the County Migrant Services Center, providing a fixed feeding site as well as distribution of hygiene products. “Our greatest challenge right now is keeping up with sudden migrant surges and making sure we have enough food for everyone,” says Lorine Villa, Project Manager. “These fluctuating numbers mean we don’t always know how many we will need to serve.” This operation is seeing anywhere from 500-1200 meals served per day.
“These emergency projects are in addition to standard year-round operations,” says Major Floiran Estrada, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army in El Paso. The homeless shelter serves three meals to residents every day; the soup kitchen is open each evening to anyone in need of a hot meal; and food boxes are available to households that need meal supplementation. “El Pasoans count on us to keep our doors open when they’re in need of a helping hand, so we don’t cut back on our regular operations for other programs. However, it does mean that we could use a little more help.”
The Salvation Army is in need of volunteers, monetary donations, and donations of nonperishable food to help support year-round services as well as emergency projects.
For more information about The Salvation Army, to volunteer, or make a donation, call 915-544-9811 or visit us at 4300 E. Paisano Dr., El Paso, TX 79905. You can also visit us online at southernusa.salvationarmy.org/elpaso.