Salvation Army Expands Mobile Food Pantries, Leads Mass Response During Coronavirus Crisis

The organization is providing meals to the homeless and struggling families.

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The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division has been designated as the lead agency for mass care in response to the coronavirus crisis. Its Emergency Disaster Services division, known as EDS, is providing food to those considered to be among the most vulnerable in quarantine in the city of Chicago.

“Traditionally, it’s a bowl of hot soup or chili or stew… something hearty that’s really going to stick with them for a while,” said Jackie Rachev, director of communications with the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. “They get the hot meal during the day and then we’ve added a bagged meal later in the evening so they’re not hungry,” Rachev added.

EDS has 4,000 meals in the freezer, ready to go. The non-profit is using its Mobile Food Pantries, which are white box trucks, to hand out meals to the homeless. Volunteers are also doing porch deliveries for struggling families.

Aside from food, the Mobile Food Pantries deliver critical information about the coronavirus, which doesn’t always reach those on the streets.

“We’re making sure they know what’s going on. If they need medical treatment, we try to get them what they need,” said Rachev. “We’re checking in on them and making sure they know what’s going on,” she added.

The Salvation Army is also providing water and snacks to people waiting to be screened in Terminal 5 at O’Hare. The organization says donations are needed and appreciated during this time of need. For more information, visit

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