Salvation Army Volunteers Hand out 4,500 Meals in Hamburg

The Salvation Army has been serving more people than usual these days due to a growing need in the community. As a result, Salvation Army personnel and community volunteers continue to distribute boxes full of non-perishable food and freshly cooked frozen meals to Berks County residents in Hamburg.

“For the last two months, we’ve been providing much-needed meals to people who’ve lost jobs, have had their hours cut, and in some cases, both parents have been furloughed. Ordinarily we hand out food vouchers and emergency food boxes on request. However, we’re seeing people from zip codes that we don’t typically see. They’re calling in or coming to us for help, so we’ve had to add drive-up food distributions in the last several weeks,” said Rebecca Netznik, Regional Manager, The Salvation Army Service Extension Department.

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“They drive up and our workers and volunteers, wearing masks and gloves, put the food into their trunks. The food the state provided has helped tremendously because we’re reaching more people and helping ease stress and hunger during uncertain times.”

Those who need food are asked and were not able to make it on the distribution days can make an appointment to receive an emergency food box provided in part by the United Way of Berks County, the Berks County Community Foundation, and Helping Harvest.

Food vouchers are also available thanks to the United Way of Berks County and the Berks County Community Foundation.

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“There is no quarantine from hunger. With so many people unemployed and underemployed due to COVID-19, the need for food is extremely great in rural Berks County. No one should go hungry in any zip code that we service,” Netznik said.

“While food is the necessity most needed now, we expect many more people will need rent assistance and other financial help soon. They’ll be coming to us for aid and we will be here to serve as best we can. That is our mission. We serve wherever we can without discrimination.”

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