As South Texas communities brace themselves for the effects of Hurricane Alex, The Salvation Army is already providing shelter and food to people in preparation for the first hurricane of the season.
Yesterday The Salvation Army opened the doors of its shelter in McAllen, TX to residents evacuating ahead of the storm. They housed 73 people, of which 23 were evacuees, and served 140 meals. They continue to remain on stand-by in case additional help is needed at any of the area designated shelters.
Mobile feeding units called canteens are in place and ready to serve in the southern Texas cities of Corpus Christi, Harlingen, McAllen and Laredo, Texas. Several more canteens are staged in San Antonio with staff and volunteers. The Salvation Army mobile kitchen, capable of preparing 20,000 meals daily, and generator have been made available and are ready for deployment if necessary. The Salvation Army will also provide clean-up kits if excessive flooding results from Hurricane Alex.
“The Salvation Army is anticipating several days of sheltering and mass feeding along the Gulf Coast area”, said Major Terry Israel, Divisional Secretary in Texas.“ These services will be available at least through Friday, and as long as the need exists.”
For more information about The Salvation Army emergency disaster services program or to support The Salvation Army’s emergency relief efforts, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For the latest updates on Salvation Army disaster activities, follow our Disaster Services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.
The Salvation Army’s School of Culinary Arts in Chattanooga, Tennessee is celebrating the first graduating class of its program! As of result of their training, three students have all successfully secured jobs in the local area, and two of them have transitioned from homelessness to permanent housing.
This culinary arts program is different than your average cooking school in that it is designed to equip local homeless and low income persons with the skills they need to thrive in the food service industry, empowering them to overcome homelessness and unemployment.
Chef Terry Epps, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College, runs the 12-week program in which students get hands on training in environmentally friendly agriculture, meal preparation, and even resume and interview tips. The culinary schools wraps ups with a two-week internship in a local restaurant kitchen.
The Chattanoogan featured the following from the newspaper’s conversation with Chef Epps and a program graduate named Jasmine:
“The students are learning the skills necessary to work in kitchens which prepare daily staples such as hamburgers, as well as, more formal kitchens where complex, multiple course meals are the norm” said Chef Terry Epps. Though the focus is on marketable skills, Chef Epps has noticed additional benefits. “When my students put on their uniforms I see a boost in their confidence. They are uplifted and excited to learn and change their lives.”
“The School is proof that there is hope out there,” said Jasmine, a formerly homeless mother of two small children. “I want to change my life for the better and this program has made that possible.”
You can watch first hand interviews of Chef Epps and Jasmine HERE in a news story run by WDEF 12 about the life changing program.
Congratulations to the new graduates, and best wishes at your new jobs! We hope many others will be inspired to take advantage of this Salvation Army program. In fact, although the School of Culinary Arts is only able to take 5 students per class, there are already 20 applicants for the next class in July!
For more information about the Culinary Program and services offered by The Chattanooga Salvation Army, find them on Facebook, Twitter, and their website www.csarmy.org.
International track star Lolo Jones paid a surprise visit to The Salvation Army’s Citadel Community Center (Corps) and Summer Day Camp in Des Moines, Iowa yesterday. Jones and an NBC television crew visited the center to help tell the story of how her family lived at The Salvation Army center during a time of homelessness when she was a child. Lolo was active in the Corps’ children’s ministries during her childhood.
After playing an intense game of dodgeball with the day camp children, Lolo encouraged them to reach for their goals.
The NBC crew captured video of Lolo Jones and the day campers in preparation for coverage of Lolo prior to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The footage is expected to be broadcast in August 2012. The film crew director said some of the video may be shown on NBC’s Today Show sooner.
Jones, an Olympic hurdler from Des Moines, is a two-time world indoor champion. She won her second outdoor national title in the 100-meter hurdles at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines on June 26 with a time of 12.69 seconds.
For more information about The Salvation Army’s work in Des Moines, visit their website at www.salvationarmy-desmoines.org.
Information provided by The Salvation Army’s Western Division.
Hunger relief organization Numana, Inc. has packaged 20 MILLION MEALS for Haiti Disaster Relief, according to the organization’s official press announcement released Saturday. The latest milestone was reached this weekend as volunteers from across the Midwest banded together at Numana community events held in Fayettville, AR, Milwaukee, WI and Pratt, KS.
In their statement the relief organization said, “Numana would like to thank first of all the thousands of people who have shown up to give of their money, energy and time to help make this happen. Rick McNary, Founder and CEO said, “We knew that if we provided people with the opportunity, they would respond overwhelmingly, and they have.” The Salvation Army deserves a special thanks as they have helped facilitate nearly half of all the meals packaged.
Fayetteville’s ‘Razorback Relief’ packaged a record 1.4 million meals in 24 hours, breaking the previous record held by Kansas City of 1.2 million. Milwaukee produced an impressive 573,000 meals, and Pratt turned out 276,00!
Thank you to everyone for your helping hands that together have made an incredible difference in the lives of Haiti’s starving population. For more information about Numana and how to be involved in upcoming events, visit their website at www.numanainc.com. You can also follow them on Twitter for the latest information and statistics @NumanaInc.
And sure to visit The Salvation Army online at www.salvationarmyusa.org for news of our ongoing service, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.