Salvation Army Ramps up Efforts to Help Combat Coronavirus

Salvation Army volunteer stocks food shelves
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TORONTO, ON March 18, 2020—Experts say that community transmission of COVID-19 is underway in Canada and The Salvation Army is ramping up its efforts to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“From coast to coast, The Salvation Army is heeding advice from the government and health authorities to protect the safety of the 1.6 million people we serve each year, as well as our officers, employees and volunteers,” says Commissioner Floyd J. Tidd, national leader of The Salvation Army. “We continue to stand by our communities to bring help and hope and we applaud the Government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan, which aims to provide support to Canadians facing hardship as a result of COVID-19.  We acknowledge that recent measures to contain the spread of the virus will have a long-term impact on people’s well-being and we are committed to working with all levels of government as we serve the most vulnerable.”

The Salvation Army is taking unprecedented measures to limit exposure to the coronavirus.

  • Effective March 17, ALL thrift stores across Canada closed to the public for shopping, but we continue to accept donations of goods until further notice. Thrift stores will continue to support crisis needs of our community and family services operations.
  • Our social services are supporting communities with utmost care that is based on instruction from community public health agencies and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Salvation Army shelters, and other ministry units, are implementing best practices to ensure staff and clients stay safe and healthy, which includes proper handwashing procedures and coughing/sneezing techniques. We also encourage staff with possible symptoms/exposure to stay home to reduce the risk of transmission. And all non-essential staff are working off-site at home.
  • Putting social distancing measure into practise, adjustments are being made to our feeding programs such as providing bags of food instead of sit-down meals.

“This is a fluid situation that we are keeping a close watch on,” says Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, spokesperson for The Salvation Army. “Decisions may need to change as circumstances and health directions evolve. As we navigate these challenging times, our actions will be guided by our mission, our values and evidence-based information published by local health authorities and the Public Health Agency of Canada.”

For more information about The Salvation Army, or to make a donation in support of the COVID-19 response, please visit

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become one of the largest direct providers of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in more than 130 countries around the world. Its community and social service activities include: hunger relief for individuals and families through food banks and feeding programs; shelter for people experiencing homelessness and support for those needing housing; rehabilitation for those struggling with addiction; long-term care and palliative care; Christmas assistance such as food hampers and toys; after-school programs, camps, and school nutrition programs for children and youth; and life-skills classes such as budgeting, cooking for a family, and anger management. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

News releases, articles and updated information about COVID-19 can be found at

A list of regional media representatives can be found at:

For further information:

Lt-Colonel John P. Murray
Territorial Secretary for Communications

Glenn van Gulik
National Capital Region Area Director for Public Relations / Divisional Director for Emergency Disaster Services