The Salvation Army Provides Healthy Lifestyle Choices to People in Need

Salvation Army founder General William Booth once said, “Nobody gets a blessing if they have cold feet and nobody ever got saved while they had toothache!”

Booth knew that good physical health was the foundation for a healthy spirit and heart of faith. Since the organization’s founding, The Salvation Army has worked to meet all manner of mankind’s physical needs.

Health and wellness are popular topics in this day and age, especially as we’ve seen alarming trends in high obesity rates among youth and adults in the United States. What many people may not know is that The Salvation Army is working to counter this problem by providing individuals and families with exciting opportunities to get active and healthy.

To better understand how The Salvation Army has expanded or explored new initiatives to encourage healthy lifestyle choices for all ages, the organization released an internal study, “Wellness for All,” a survey of 100 Salvation Army wellness programs in more than 80 urban and rural cities across the country. The report illustrates the experiences of Salvation Army officers and employees who work directly with Salvation Army health programs.

These programs are available at a wide-range of Salvation Army facilities such as Corps Community Centers, Ray and Joan Kroc Community Centers, summer and day camps, daycare, after-school programs, and Adult Rehabilitation Centers.

Fifty-seven percent of Salvation Army facilities offer health opportunities for seniors, including SilverSneakers, which provides membership to any health and exercise class at a Kroc Center.

The Salvation Army is developing new programs internally such as Kroc Fit Kids, as well as partnerships with organizations like Reebok, the National Football League, and Dole, in an effort to broaden services and make health education and fitness programs available to all.

It was interesting to note that over the past five years, the Army’s health and fitness programs have expanded by 65 percent for families and individuals in poverty. This has been achieved through new initiatives, facilities and great partnerships.

The Salvation Army offers these programs for free or at reduced rates through discounts and scholarships in an effort to target individuals who may have been held back from health-conscious decisions because of limited access or because they simply could not afford it.

The Salvation Army’s wellness programs range from fitness and athletics to community gardens and cooking programs. In addition services include mental health programs, summer lunch, health fairs, aquatics and other helpful programs like dental and hygiene clinics.

In the coming weeks, we will be highlighting a few of our unique health programs on our blog and invite you to take a look!

Read the full “Wellness for All” report here.

You can help families and children in your community by supporting your local Salvation Army.

Learn more about The Salvation Army’s wellness programs in your local community by visiting or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Read the official press release.