The Salvation Army Responds to Coronavirus, Offers Free Food to Families in Need Following School Closures

Seeking monetary donations and bulk non-perishable food items to help families in need


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PITTSBURGH, PA (March 17, 2020) – The Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania is committed to meeting the needs of the community during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. For more than 150 years The Salvation Army has Fought the Good Fight by serving on the Front Lines during times of crisis. Trained Salvation Army emergency services personnel, officers and volunteers are working to meet the needs of our neighbors during the outbreak. We are actively participating in planning conversations with Emergency Management agencies and other government and nonprofit partners to ensure that services remain available to those who need support. Our recent efforts include:

School Closures: The Salvation Army is working with local officials to help meet the needs of the community by delivering lunches to children who can’t get to their school to pick up their lunches.

Local Salvation Army Worship & Service Centers will continue to serve the community and will operate during regular business hours but with limited services. All after-school programs will be suspended along with congregate meals and gathering programs. Food pantries and feeding programs will continue with sanitary restrictions, such as serving meals in to-go boxes and pre-packaging groceries. We are developing plans for remote emotional and spiritual care and worship utilizing live-stream tools where possible.

Residential Facilities: The Salvation Army has increased cleaning at its homeless and rehabilitation facilities, where close living conditions allow infectious disease to easily spread among residents. If a resident or staff member gets sick, private isolation/quarantine areas will be established. Group meals are being spread out throughout the day so no more than 10 people will be in the feeding area at once. For facilities taking new clients, pre-screening processes are in place to mitigate spreading the virus to current residents.

Event Cancellations: Multiple fundraising events across the division have been cancelled through April and will be rescheduled until further notice.

Dental Centers: The Johnstown and Oil City Dental Centers are closed, except for emergencies.

Family Stores: To comply with Governor Wolf’s Executive Order, all Salvation Army Family Stores (thrift stores) will close until further notice, including home pick-ups of donations. Our Adult Rehabilitation Centers are open and continue to operate as normal as usual.

Homeless Feeding: Thursday homeless feedings on the North Side of Pittsburgh are suspended until further notice.

The Salvation Army is also anticipating a spike in emergency assistance, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and food assistance, for low-wage workers who may be temporarily laid off because of the impact the virus is having on various businesses.


To donate to The Salvation Army’s Coronavirus fund, please visit To donate bulk non-perishable food items, contact Jennifer Brown at (412) 446-1536 or email Jennifer.Brown@USE.SalvationArmy.Org. The Salvation Army is currently not seeking volunteers to mitigate spreading the virus.

“We will continue to do everything possible to provide for those in need. People have turned to The Salvation Army in times of crisis for over 150 years. To face this challenge, we are going to need help from the community. The best way you can help is by providing a monetary gift that will help us keep our facilities sanitized, put food on people’s tables, and restore hope,” said Major Raphael Jackson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division.    


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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operations around the country. The Western Pennsylvania division has 110 locations, covers 28 counties and serves every zip code in the region. For more information visit