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“No intention on stopping”: Eight months in, The Salvation Army continues to give food drive-thru style

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - The Salvation Army has been giving out food at their drive-thru food pantries ever since the start of the pandemic.

Many organizations realize the financial struggle that exists in today's world, and food insecurity is an even larger issue than ever before. The Northeast Iowa Food Bank also continues to give food during this time.

Even as the winter months are quickly approaching, the Salvation Army will continue their services.

"We want to make sure that people who are hungry and in need can get food from the Salvation Army five days a week. And we have no intention on stopping it. COVID doesn't stop people from being hungry, so we're going to continue to serve our community," Major Shannon Thies said.

The food donations come from various restaurants and businesses in the area, and are foods that may be close to their expiration date.

“Normally those foods within a couple days would be going into the trash and instead we have the opportunity to get them into people's hands and into people's mouths,” Thies said.

The food went quickly, as there was a line of cars that filled the parking lot and went down the neighboring street. In less than 10 minutes, the garage holding all of the food was nearly empty.

The days and times the drive-thru services run at the 89 Franklin St. Waterloo location is as follows:

  • Hot meals: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.
  • Perishable goods: Tuesday, Thursday from 12 pm – 1:00 pm.

Some residents come for themselves and their families, and some come for others who are in need as well.

“Since this has started I think for the first two months I helped almost 35 to 40 families," Waterloo resident Juneal Stuva said, "You know if I know a family that’s in my community this is a way that us that can get out to drive, you know, and stay in our vehicle, that we can help others.”

Stuva distributes extra food that she might receive at the drive-thru pantry to those who might not be able to make it to the Salvation Army's giveaways.

“My heart is to give. It’s always been to give,” Stuva said.

The Salvation Army is always looking for volunteers to help out with these events. If you would like to volunteer you can sign up on their website.

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Diego Hernandez

Multimedia Journalist

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