New Canteen Truck Brings Friday Food Program to Temiskaming

by chrismcgregor
Categories: Divisional News

Salvation Army Temiskaming Community Church Lieuts. Brandon and April Keeping say a new Emergency Disaster Services canteen truck will be open for lunch every Friday in downtown New Liskeard, as a pilot project that runs through August.

“On the first day we had 26 people come by for soup and a sandwich. We expect that number to grow as the community learns that the food program is now available,” Lieut. Brandon says.

High food costs are a major issue in northern Ontario, and inflation is making things worse for individuals and families on fixed incomes, so the timing could not be more perfect.

“There have not been any feeding programs in this community before but there is an incredible demand here and we are so fortunate that we can assist people in this way,” Lieut. Brandon says.

The truck is also used to pick up grocery donations from the local Walmart, which provides as much as 400 pounds of food each week for Salvation Army Food Bank clients in New Liskeard and neighbouring towns. Supplies are also sent monthly across the border into Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec to ease food insecurity among residents there.

Lieut. Keeping says the lunch program often serves as a conversation starter that results in clients being referred to other services provided by The Salvation Army Temiskaming Community Church, including vouchers for clothing and household items at The Salvation Army thrift store and emergency housing support.

Several new volunteers have also come forward – one offering to drive the canteen truck as needed, and another looking to start a seed library to encourage food bank clients to grow their own fresh vegetables.

“We are thankful for the generous volunteer support from the community to help create a warm and welcoming environment that encourages those in need to come forward and not be afraid to ask for help,” Lieut. Keeping says.

Donations to The Salvation Army in Temiskaming can be made online at, while those interested in volunteering can contact the Temiskaming Community Church at 705-647-4115.