The Salvation Army in Belleville is Cooking up Hot Meals for those in Need

by Caroline Franks
Categories: Divisional News

With an increasing number of people unemployed or working fewer hours during the COVID19 outbreak, the need for emergency food and hot meals is more important than ever.

The Salvation Army in Belleville is delivering their meal program by offering take out to their clients.  The front door at 295 Pinnacle Street is now covered in plexiglass with a hole cut out to hand meals to those in need.

“We are working with public health officials to make sure we deliver everything in the safest way possible,” said Major Catherine Brown-Radcliffe, Salvation Army Officer in Belleville.

The meal program runs from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, seven evenings a week.  Meals also come with water, juice or coffee and on Easter weekend, extra chocolate treats were handed out.  Every night staff are serving between 35 and 75 people.

“We are serving meals mostly to individuals, some of them are from Grace Inn Shelter in Belleville as they need to find meals in the community during the day,” said Connie Goodsell, Salvation Army Community and Family Services Director.

Each night only 4 or 5 staff members cook the meals to limit exposure.

“We are not using any volunteers at this time, its all staff from our Community and Family Services and those redeployed from the now closed Thrift Store who were willing to work,” said Major Catherine.

The Salvation Army also continues to run their emergency food bank where individuals and families can receive food for 2 days, per person in their household.  The food hampers are prepared in advance and include a grocery gift card.  The hampers are then set outside a different door before it is picked up to avoid director contact. The food bank is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 1 until 4 pm by appointment only.

“We can process a lot more people because we are having less personal interactions. We are now serving about 55 people in 3 days,” said Connie.  “We are seeing a lot of new individuals and families who may be hurting financially at the moment.”

The Salvation Army has had some generous donations from the community, including 75 meals from Swiss Chalet. Sofina Foods Inc. has offered to make sandwiches one day a week to help the meal program, and many of their employees donated the turkey they were given for Easter from the company.  A local community police officer made enough chili for about 40 people one evening.

In addition to working in the kitchen, Majors Catherine and Wil Brown-Radcliffe are calling members of their church to check in on their well being and are sending personal cards by mail. Worship services, scriptures, prayers and music are being video recorded and sent by email and posted to social media.

In Tweed, The Salvation Army Thrift Store is also closed but the food bank remains open Monday and Wednesday by appointment only. The same safety precautions are being followed.

If you would like to support the work of The Salvation Army or if you are in need of assistance please visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. To reach The Salvation Army in Belleville please call 613-968-7394 and in Tweed please call 613-478-5544.