WINCHESTER — Local Salvation Army Captain Kelly Durant estimates the organization has provided more than 15,000 meals to those in need since mid-March, when the coronavirus began impacting the community.
Those fed include homeless persons as well as children and shut-ins living in low-income neighborhoods.
On March 23, Durant began driving a mobile feeding truck that visits four Winchester neighborhoods. He said a team of volunteers and sponsors has made this effort possible. The main sponsors include Anthony’s Pizza and local resident Charles Headley,who is pastor of Native American Ministries Warriors for Christ. Meals also have been donated by 14 other area restaurants, each donating 50 to 100 meals for a few days at a time.
Durant said he is amazed by Anthony’s Pizza owner Claudio Buono donating food for 150 people daily. He said Buono will continue to do so until May 29. By that point, Anthony’s Pizza will have provided 7,500 meals over 50 days.
In addition to the hot meal outreach, Durant said the local Salvation Army shelter at 300 Fort Collier Road has remained open during the pandemic, with all residents and staff provided with face masks and extra cleaning supplies and social distancing guidelines observed.
And the Congregational Community Action Project (CCAP) in Winchester, which temporarily shuttered in late March over coronavirus concerns, has donated six truckloads of food and cleaning supplies to the local Salvation Army to distribute to those in need. Four distribution dates have been held, with about 300 people attending each one. Durant estimates that 3,600 people have been benefited from the distributions.
For more information about the local Salvation Army, visit virginiasalvationarmy.org/winchestervacorps or call 540-662-4777.