Fresh produce for everyone

produceFree Fresh Produce

Fresh, regionally grown produce is accessible in the following areas; Parry Sound Friendship Centre, Harvest Share Food Bank, Esprit Place Family Resource Centre, Salvation Army Food Bank and District Social Services Administration Board thanks to the Parry Sound Community Garden growers.

Twenty per cent of all produce grown within the 5 local gardens are distributed to those 5 meals suppliers. Donation bins are checked each Monday, Wednesday and Friday and delivered to these places for individuals to enjoy wholesome, scrumptious, natural greens.

Neighborhood cultivators, with the assistance of group partners like Camp George members, preserve the gardens properly maintained throughout the summer time so gardeners can access their plots easily, benefit from the fruits of their labour and share their harvest with others.

bike across america

Bike across America 2 end hunger

bike across america 2 end hunger

SOUTH BEND – One of the hundreds of bikers out there today had an especially long trip.

This is Martin Cooper from the Salvation Army. His ride started all the way in  Medford, Oregon.

That’s more than two-thousand miles away and he is riding across the country to raise money and awareness to help end children’s hunger.

“I’ve been thinking about it for four or five years,” he said. “I just thought, when I retire, there has to be some way that I can help people. And you know, I don’t need to just go out and bug everybody in the community, so I thought I would ride across America.”

He plans to ride all the way to Washington DC – that will be a trip of 28-hundred miles.

He says he actually didn’t know about the Bike the Bend today. He was just planning to stop by the Kroc Center and he saw it on his way in.

Bike Across America 2 end Hunger

You can find more information about Martin over at his website on Facebook:

donut day

Celebrate National Donut Day with free donuts from LaMar’s

free donutsLaMar’s Donuts is giving away free doughnuts in Fort Collins Friday to celebrate National Donut Day.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based company is partnering with Salvation Army to help raise money during the annual event. Donation kettles will be placed in participating LaMar’s locations including the two doughnut shops in Fort Collins — 1101 W. Drake Road and 140 E. Boardwalk Drive.

In addition to the donation kettles, LaMar’s will give a portion of this week’s sales to Salvation Army to support programs that provide meals to children in need. The company has 27 stores in throughout six states.

“The Salvation Army’s tireless mission to keep children clothed, sheltered and fed is an enduring reminder that many of our neighbors are in need,” LaMar’s spokesperson Temi Osifodunrin said in a statement. “LaMar’s is inviting communities we serve into our shops for free donuts and ask only that they consider donating to a praiseworthy cause.”

Customers aren’t required to make purchases to receive their free doughnuts Friday. The free-doughnut offer is good for any regular doughnut already available.

National Donut Day is celebrated the first Friday of June, a tradition dating to 1917, when women Salvation Army volunteers known as “Lassies” made doughnuts for soldiers on the front lines of World War I.

Dunkin’ Donuts is also celebrating the holiday by giving free doughnuts to customers who purchase beverages. On Oct. 28, the Massachusetts-based doughnut shop opened a location at 2801 S. College Ave, in Fort Collins.

By:Adrian D. Garcia

Kroc Center

Summer Camps at the Salvation Army Kroc Center

summer camps

The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Suisun City is offering a lineup of summer camps.

Grade K-6 children can participate in themed day camps that include enrichment activities, swimming and other physical activities, a daily devotional, field trips, and many other fun choices, Kroc officials said.

The goal is for participants to acquire new skills, learn new concepts, and make friends, all while enjoying their summer vacation in a safe, nurturing, and educational environment. Children will have opportunities to “add-on” additional activities (sport camps, field trips, swim lessons) for additional fees.

Early bird registration for premium camp is $165 a week and for regular camp, $130 a week.

Late registration (3 days prior to week of camp) is $190 a week for premium camp, and $150 for regular camp.

Camps schedules and themes include:

June 8-12: Swim Camp

June15-19: Puttin’ on the Hits

June 22-26: Sports Camp

June 29-July 3: Camp Construct: Legos!

July 6-10: Urban Music

July 13 -17: Survival!

July 20-24: Music Camp

July 27-31: Camp Del Oro (ages 7-12)

Aug. 3-7: World Expo

Kroc Center

National Study Quantifies Impact of Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Centers

Kroc Center

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 18, 2015) – Eleven years after Joan Kroc’s historic $1.5 billion bequest to The Salvation Army, 26 Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are now open across the country, providing a variety of cultural, educational, fitness and social programs in neighborhoods that historically have lacked them. In a study commissioned by The Salvation Army, researchers at Partners for Sacred Places and McClanahan Associates, Inc. quantified the annual positive social and economic impact these centers are creating for and in their communities, totaling $258,178,776 (based on 2014 data).

Today, President Obama will visit the newest Kroc Center, in Camden, N.J., highlighting the impact that investment in facilities and programs like Kroc Centers can have on the long-term health of local communities.

The Kroc Centers are state-of-the-art venues typically located in underserved communities, where children and families can be exposed to a variety of people, activities and arts that would otherwise be beyond their reach. The Centers enhance quality of life by providing a safe environment with an emphasis on fitness and health, the arts and opportunities to build social connections.

“The research demonstrates in a quantifiable way the social and economic impact the Kroc Centers are having on people from the local community. They come, they get healthy, and they make important social connections. That’s the hallmark of what a Kroc Center is, and it creates a bona fide ‘Economic Halo Effect’ of positive benefits,” said Commissioner David Jeffrey, National Commander of The Salvation Army.

The study included the 25 Kroc Centers that had been open for at least six months by the end of 2014 (the Camden Kroc Center was not included because it opened in October 2014). The report is based on more than 100 interviews with staff, officers, participants, volunteers and community leaders; surveys of a representative sample of 1,580 patrons; and a review of operations-related documentation. Researchers looked at six areas:

  • $99,195,478 – Direct spending by the centers to hire a total of 797 full-time and 2,288 part-time staff, and to buy local goods and services
  • $70,601,194 – Invisible safety net: various catalyzing or leveraging economic values for center users including membership subsidies, scholarships, space and in-kind support to individuals and community-serving programs
  • $48,738,141 – The value of people getting and staying healthier
  • $30,986,249 – Magnet effect of induced spending in the local community by center visitors
  • $7,914,702 – The value of daycare programs that allow parents to work
  • $743,312 – Outdoor recreation space

“Anecdotally, we have understood from the outset that the Kroc Centers are fulfilling Joan Kroc’s vision of enriching lives,” said Commissioner Jeffrey. “We are blessed to have the scale and expertise to successfully implement her vision, and we are pleased that the ‘Economic Halo Effect’ report confirms and quantifies this real and ongoing benefit to the people and communities we serve.”

Separately, the study measures the one-time impact of construction-related spending for the 25 Kroc Centers studied, which exceeded $1.7 billion, with nearly 15,000 jobs created.

The study does not include quantitative measures of individual impact related to individual counseling that helped keep families together, taught social values and skills, helped people find jobs, and more. While real and effective in their impact, insufficient economic valuation models led the researchers to exclude these activities from the overall total.

“Between the one-time impact of construction and the ongoing impact of the centers’ operations, we are extremely pleased to confirm that our Kroc Centers have already in effect surpassed the value of this amazing gift and will keep on giving through annual impact in those communities,” continued Commissioner Jeffrey.

“We thank our donors, volunteers and community partners for the critical role they play in ensuring that these community benefits continue and grow year after year.”

More information about the report is available at

About the Kroc Centers
In January 2004, The Salvation Army announced that Mrs. Kroc, widow of the McDonald’s franchise founder Ray Kroc, had bequeathed $1.5 billion to be separated equally among the organization’s four U.S. territories. The gift remains the second largest gift from an individual to a third party charity in American history.

Mrs. Kroc specifically directed The Salvation Army to use part of the money for endowments to help support the centers she envisioned across the United States, similar to the first Kroc Center she helped build in her hometown of San Diego with a gift of $90 million. That center continues to thrive, 13 years after its opening in a neighborhood that serves more than two dozen distinct ethnic groups.

Today, 26 Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers operate in communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to

Kroc Center

Hampton Roads Kroc Center – The Salvation Army is about to celebrate it’s 1-year anniversary.


The Salvation Army is about to celebrate a big anniversary, and it’s bringing in NFL Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith to lead the charge.

“We’re glad he’s coming to share the message of hope for young people to do the right thing. Build character,” said Major Stephen Long of the Salvation Army.

The Hampton Roads Kroc Center is at 1401 Ballentine Blvd. in Norfolk in the Broad Creek area. It’s a massive, positive place for children and families to get involved in programs together — from weight lifting at the gym to fitness classes to basketball to swimming in the giant indoor water park. There are music classes and character-building classes.

But the part of the Kroc Center that’s the favorite of 8 year-old Tye Austin might surprise you — church services.

“It’s fun and I like the service,” Tye said. “I learn how to behave better and how to respect parents better.”

Learning Christian values and becoming better individuals is something they value at the Kroc Center. Each year they hold a black-tie fundraising dinner to help families with membership fees. Last year’s dinner raised $96,000 and they hope to top that that this Thursday by bringing in the Super Bowl champ, who got his start in athletics participating in programs at the Salvation Army community center where he grew up.

salvation army

Gov’t of Liberia Gives $140K to The Salvation Army’s William Booth High School for Facelift

liberia salvation army

Monrovia — The Government of Liberia on April 8, 2015 presented a check in the amount of one hundred forty thousand, one hundred and fifty-five United States dollars (140,155), to the administration and officer in-Charge of the Salvation Army’s William Booth Junior & Senior High School that was gutted by fire on March 4th 2015.

Presenting the check on behalf of the Government, Liberia’s Assistant minister for Budget and Development planning Hon. Augustin K. Blama said restoring the burnt structure and providing furniture to enable the 983 students get back to classes are the result of the government commitment to providing education to all regardless of the sector.

He said, that the project is expected to be completed within 3o-days and believes upon completion it will change the narratives of warehouses and computer rooms and library been used for classrooms “it is imperative for our student at William Booth continues to learn in a conducive and healthy atmosphere free from fear of fire and crime” he added.

Minister Blama also encouraged students of the William Booth School to always seek to strive for the top and to report any suspicious activity that might affect their institution. He said the government remains steadfast in its continual commitment to educating the future generation of this country.

For her part, the Minister of Education Hon. Etmonia Tarpel expressed her frustration and disappointment over the burning of the school infrastructure. She, however, encouraged the family of the institution to be strong and keep the good work on going. ‘Those that did the act thought they were reigning evil upon this school, but let it be known that God has turned the evil into blessing” she added. She said the government will support your effort to the fullest in ensuring that our students are free from this unacceptable encounter.

In a brief remark, the Officer-in Charge of the Salvation Army Col. Gabriel Kathuri extend his gratitude to the government for rapid intervention to solve the unexpected distraction that have reduced our classrooms to warehouse, library computer lab etc. He said, with God, they shall bounce back and even shine brighter than before. Col. Kathuri at the same time encouraged those that cause this disaster to come out and confess.

The Salvation Army’s William Booth Junior & senior High School was gutted by fire on March 4, 2015, thus posting a serious hindrance which to a greater extend has prevented the institution from carrying out its normal academic activities.


Salvation Army fresh food initiative providing Weekly Fresh fruits & vegetables

Fresh Food Initiative.HILLSDALE — On a dreary, blustery and cold Tuesday morning, Hillsdale County residents lined up outside of the Hillsdale Salvation Army to receive fresh food, part of the organizations Fresh Food Initiative.

The initiative, which began in June of 2012, provides those residents in need with a box of fresh food, breads and a dessert.

Sue LeFevre, a Salvation Army employee, said they don’t know week to week what will be on the truck until it arrives each Tuesday morning.
The fresh food initiative gives residents a healthy food option.

“For those residents who are looking for options in cooking the fresh food, we are more than happy to help with recipes,” said Kathy Stump, Salvation Army administrative assistant.

The Salvation Army pays a $300 delivery fee a week from the Food Bank of South Central Michigan for the food, which will feed around 250 families.
Volunteers from the Hope House in Jonesville help the Salvation Army staff pack boxes and bag vegetables on a weekly basis.

During the month of March, 30 unduplicated volunteers contributed 217 hours of service.

Tuesday morning Michele Dropulich and LeAnn Voigtritter, volunteers from the Hope House, were busy packing bags with fresh green beans to be added to the boxes.
“I’ve been on both sides of the line,” Dropulich said. “It feels good to give back with a smile — this is a way I can give back.”

“The house has given me an opportunity. It feels good to be able to pay it forward,” she added.

Food distribution is from 9:30-11:30 a.m. every Tuesday.

Stump said it is open to anyone that is in need of food, no questions asked.

She said lately they have been averaging around 150 families a week.

The remaining food is distributed to other food banks around Hillsdale County.

She said the food has to be distributed fairly quickly, because it is close to its expiration date when it is received.

During the month of March, 604 families or 1,709 individuals were assisted, 372 of which were children. The wholesale value of the food distributed was $48,690.59. The Salvation Army paid $1,200 for the food.

The Salvation Army also offers a free lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. The emergency food pantry is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
By Andy Barrand

From left, Terrance Bostic, Shaun Carroll and Miesha McLeod sing karaoke at the Chattanooga Salvation Army on McCallie Avenue recently. The Salvation Army offers karaoke every Wednesday to give area homeless people something to look forward to.
Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Homeless karaoke lovers find a home at the Salvation Army


From left, Terrance Bostic, Shaun Carroll and Miesha McLeod sing karaoke at the Chattanooga Salvation Army on McCallie Avenue recently. The Salvation Army offers karaoke every Wednesday to give area homeless people something to look forward to. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

A sleeping woman embraced her belongings in a corner booth, seemingly deaf to her surroundings as fellow homeless Chattanoogans took their turns belting out karaoke songs at the Chattanooga Salvation Army on Wednesday.

But she was the only one asleep — the rest of Chattanooga’s homeless karaoke lovers danced vigorously between the coffee tables at the small cafe.

Standing out of the way of the dancers, Jessica Owens, a 52-year-old who has been homeless on and off for the past eight years, waited to take the stage.

“I’m kind of shy but I used to sing when I was younger so this makes me feel good and brings back memories,” Owens said. “[Karaoke] gives me some peace, kinda gives me a little excitement, since the majority of the time I’m by myself.”

When she took the stage, she sang Whitney Houston, her favorite artist. Despite the eruption of applause when she finished, she kept her eyes low and offered only a hidden a smile.

Karaoke isn’t a hot shower, isn’t a free meal, isn’t a bed to sleep in — but it is a chance to feel human.

“Where else can homeless go to perform, be applauded and loved on in the Tennessee Valley?” asked Kimberly George, the director of marketing and development for the Salvation Army 614 Corps.

The weekly event offers people who love karaoke an alternative to going to a bar to sing, and brings people into the building who may otherwise not request help.

Sometimes karaoke can even change lives, said George. Since the karaoke events began three years ago, one man devoted his life to the seminary, and many others are now off the streets, some even returning to volunteer on a regular basis. George said she thinks karaoke day is unique to the Chattanooga location — no other programs like it are anywhere in the United States.

“It just touches my heart, seeing people trying to get off of the street,” said volunteer Fred Holland. “If they have a bad day or sad day or something on their mind, it allows them to sing it out instead of going out and doing drugs or getting in trouble.”


Jeanne Salerno receives Mesquite Salvation Army’s Volunteer of the Year award

On Thursday, March 19, at the Salvation Army’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner, Salerno was introduced as the first annual Volunteer of the Year. Salerno received a lovely bouquet and a plaque along with a standing ovation from the over 100 attendees at the dinner, most of whom have been touched by her in one way or another according to her son and long-time Exchange Club volunteer Paul Benedict.

Salerno’s name will forever be the first on a new plaque that is slated to hang in the Mesquite Family Services Center which will honor her and the future Volunteers of the Year.

Salerno is 88 years old and Benedict says she still volunteers as much time as she is able at the Mesquite Family Services Center where she greets clients and visitors, answers phones, files (she says she loves filing) and contacts the recipients of the Senior Food Program to remind them to come and pick up their food.

Benedict said, “Although her vision is compromised and her mobility is limited, her heart is strong and loving, and she has friends all over Mesquite”.

This is the second time Salerno has received the honor of Volunteer of the Year. She first received the honor in the late 90’s when she was a volunteer for an organization in upstate New York called PEACE.

Peace volunteers help people realize their potential for becoming self-reliant and self-sufficient. According to their website “PEACE, Inc. is Onondaga County’s federally designated Community Action Agency. As part of the national network of Community Action Agencies, PEACE, Inc. seeks to help people become more self-sufficient by strengthening families, improving the conditions in which people live, encouraging people to own a stake in their own community, and developing partnerships with other organizations, businesses, and individuals to support these efforts.”

Salerno not only practices what she preaches, she taught her children to give back to the community as well. Salerno’s son Paul and daughter-in-law Barb Benedict volunteer many hours for the veterans and for the Exchange Club. Paul has been a long time member of the Virgin Valley Theatre Group and has performed in many shows here in the Mesquite. The whole family is dedicated to enriching the lives of others.

Salerno lives a quiet life in the company of a very large, very spoiled black cat named Onyx. She has many friends and neighbors who think the world of her and she never has a negative word for anybody. Always willing to give a smile and lend a hand, Salerno says she can’t volunteer as much as she used to but if she couldn’t volunteer at all it would drive her crazy. Some of the people who’s lives Salerno touches on a weekly basis say, “she’s got no worries there, as much as she does for everyone, she’ll be sane forever”.