Salvation Army Bed and Bread Trucks Combat Hunger
A recent story from The Huffington Post highlighted a remarkable program out of Detroit, MI. Each day, three trucks visit 55 locations throughout the city, and serve an astonishing 3,000- 5,000 meals to people in need, thanks to The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division.
The need for such services is at a critical level in Detroit where around 38 percent of the population lives in poverty. The Salvation Army Bed and Bread Club’s mobile soup kitchens aim to help, with the goal of serving and feeding as many homeless individuals as possible every day.
Scores of homeless and needy people line up at each location, while Salvation Army employees and volunteers prepare nutritious meals and sometimes even fresh produce.
Hundreds of people have come to depend on this unique mobile feeding system, and many are very grateful:
“They are very kind, they’re nice, especially when you’re hungry,” says 23-year-old Patrice Johnson, who has been coming to get meals from the Bed and Bread truck for several months. “There’s no shame in it.”
The summers are an even more challenging time for the city of Detroit, as more than 50 percent of Detroit’s youth live in poverty. Such numbers are startling, and sometimes The Salvation Army struggles to keep up with an increasing need and financial constraints. However, we pull from a crafty group of people who put their heads together, and can oftentimes whip up meals from practically nothing. Chef Gary VanWicklin, who prepares the day’s meals back at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center, believes that a little creativity can go a long way. “I try to think outside the box. You don’t want to give them the same thing everyday,” says VanWicklin.
Despite these challenges, Salvation Army employees and volunteers are cheerful even as they are realistic about the struggles of those they serve. Anthony Norris, who drives a Bed and Bread truck, agrees, “People come up to the truck and tell you you’re doing a good thing”