By Jessica Mathews /

The Salvation Army of Livingston County is continuing to meet multiple community needs during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

As soon as the pandemic hit Livingston County in March and families began to be impacted, the local Corps immediately switched gears. Major Prezza Morrison says they created new programs to ensure people were receiving food and adjusting their current services to safely continue assisting those in need. Speaking on WHMI's Viewpoint program Sunday, Morrison said they have flexibility with programming and can revamp if needed to make sure services aren’t being duplicated but the local Corps has had a strong emphasis on feeding programs. It has been providing meals through the Summer Lunch Bunch program in addition to other food assistance, helped out the school system with lunches and breakfasts and started a food home delivery service - all while still providing their regular programs and services such as utility, rent and shelter assistance.

The new Mobile Lunch Program has already served 6366 prepared meals in just 45 days and will continue serving prepared meals daily until June 5th. The partnership with Howell Public Schools has provided 622 kids with 9084 pounds of food to help with breakfast, lunch and snacks. In addition to onsite food pantry services and “drive-through” pick up assistance, the new pantry delivery program was recently added. The Corps is also providing increased shelter assistance, providing 850 bed nights to 200 families experiencing homelessness. In addition to the many hours of service provided, Morrison says they’ve received financial support to help with the approximately $50,000 of added expenses for the new and increased services. She says they could not have done it alone and thanked the 267 volunteers that have provided over 735 valuable hours to help others.

Morrison says community needs are constantly evolving and changing, almost on a weekly basis, so they keep switching gears to adjust and be flexible to serve people with whatever needs they might have. She says they’re blessed to be part of such a close knit, collaborative community and everyone works very well together to serve people the best they can. Morrison said individuals, organizations and companies possibly struggling themselves have stepped up and supported the local Corps financially – adding things like food, toilet paper and other hard to find items have shown up at their doorstep. Morrison further thanked all of the volunteers and donors, noting people have come out of their homes with masks and gloves to volunteer every time they ask.

Morrison says the many helping hands have ensured that families all over Livingston County have been taken care of. She added the challenge is far from over though and support is and will be needed throughout the entire pandemic to ensure struggling families, senior citizens and individuals are taken care of. Morrison says donations of pantry and personal care items are being sought to continue to help serve those in need. She noted personal care and feminine items go fast, along with things like cleaning supplies, detergent and dish soap because bridge cards don’t cover those. Morrison says it’s important they provide that so people can then focus on food and other needs.

More information on community needs and how to support various programs and services can be found in the attached press release.