Mobile Kitchen Feeds the Hungry in Halifax

kitchen hand out hot food to people in downtown Halifax
Categories: Articles, Feature, Mobile, Newswire

Feeding the hungry. Providing sufficient footwear for cold weather. Offering a listening ear.  Whatever the need, The Salvation Army’s Community Response Unit (CRU), a mobile kitchen in Halifax, is helping the vulnerable during some of the coldest days of winter.

One young lady ate four bowls of soup because she had no food in her fridge,” says Dave Jackson, who has volunteered on the truck for 14 years. “On another night a gentleman wept when we gave him a new pair of gloves. It’s a humbling experience to see people so grateful when they have so little.”

“Each night we are out, about 85 people use our services.”

Known as the Jack Frost Program, every Wednesday, from November to March, the mobile kitchen parks in the heart of downtown to provide a hot meal and drinks, custom-made sandwiches and practical items such as boots, hats, coats and blankets to those in need.

“Each night we are out, about 85 people use our services,” says Jan Keats, emergency disaster services coordinator. “From people who sleep on park benches to those living on a fixed income and those who are unable to work due to mental illness, The Salvation Army is meeting basic needs for people who are hungry and cold.”

Jackson says that guests have learned they can count on The Salvation Army to be there.

“If The Salvation Army wasn’t there, people wouldn’t eat that night.”

“If the weather is bad, we go. If we aren’t feeling well, we go,” says Jackson. “We know that if The Salvation Army wasn’t there, people wouldn’t eat that night. That weighs heavy on us.”

The Salvation Army not only meets a practical need but provides guests with something else they yearn for—a listening ear.

“Our service is not only about providing practical assistance but building relationships and restoring dignity,” says Jackson. “When guests get comfortable with us there is a trust built that allows us to steer them in the right direction. It might be where they can find shelter that night, where they can get an affordable haircut or how they can replace their tattered clothes. We do what we can to make their lives a little easier.”