SAN DIEGO — Salvation Army in San Diego has been feeding people on Christmas for decades but with so many people struggling right now, the event is going to be a bit different this year.
You may not have seen as many red kettle bell ringers this year because of COVID-19 but the Salvation Army is still giving back to the community, serving those who need it the most.
There was no banquet-style dinner served this Christmas holiday at the Salvation Army but that doesn’t mean people will go without a warm meal.
“We have a hot, catered ham Christmas dinner and we keep it in warmers. When people come up or drive up or walk up, we’ll hand them this package sealed meal. They’ll be able to take and eat it at home or wherever they can,” said Col. Lee Lescano, with Salvation Army San Diego.
Salvation Army San Diego set up three different locations for people to pick up meals: Center City Corps, the Citadel and the El Cajon Red Shield Center. But this year the number of red kettles out in the community were also drastically reduced because of Coronavirus.
“We are probably down about 60% in general, just on the numbers. The last report almost 300K in difference from last year. So it certainly has impacted us,” Lescano said.
Col. Lescano says some people are reluctant to approach the red kettles to give and some managers don’t want the bell ringers in front of their stores during the pandemic. Still, the Salvation Army wants to make sure that the community gets what it needs during these challenging times.
“If you’re having financial trouble, if you’re having food insecurity, please reach out. The Salvation Army is there for you. We can help with food, we can help with referrals to other places. Maybe there’s going to be a rental crisis coming up, there are resources,” Lescano said.
The Colonel says they’re so thankful to people who support the Salvation all year long and donations can be made online.