The Salvation Army of Monongalia, Marion and Preston Counties has remained active in serving its homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And along the way the local corps has partnered with a local restaurant to provide meals to frontline health care professionals at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
However, like other retail stores in the state and nation, the Salvation Army Family Stores in Morgantown and Fairmont have been closed. The family stores are a major source of income for the social services provided by the Salvation Army.
“Since the pandemic, our meal services have never stopped,” said Lt. Sheldon Greenland. “As of last week, we have served more than 3,500 hot meals.”
The Salvation Army in Morgantown has replaced its dine-in meals each evening with a carry-out service.
“We miss our family dinner gatherings but we have seen quite a number of new faces who are in need of our meals,” Greenland said. “We are currently serving about 130 people each day Monday through Friday.”
In addition, the Salvation Army has provided meals seven days a week to other social service organizations in the community that are providing shelter.
In partnership with Jamaican Spice restaurant, the Salvation Army has provided meals to frontline health care professionals at Ruby Memorial and to the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office.
And in order to support the CDC guidelines for the unsheltered, a hand washing station and portable toilet has been provided outside the Salvation Army building through the support of United Way of Monongalia and Preston County and Morgantown Portable Toilets.
“We feed the hungry with healthy meals, and we have worked hard to create an environment that provides all the folks who entered our facility with dignity and respect,” Greenland said. “This process of physical distancing has been difficult, as we had to transition to the to-go model. What does success look like? We have continued to share it with what we are doing in our tri-county service area.”