Grand Falls-Windsor Salvation Army proceeds with emergency relief station

·2 min read

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Salvation Army in Grand Falls-Windsor wanted to lend a hand where it could.

That desire led it to drive the church’s emergency disaster services vehicle to Port aux Basques, where it served more than 3,000 meals to truck drivers as they arrived on the island.

On Wednesday, the Salvation Army received $25,000 in provincial funding to help the church construct a proper storage garage for the vehicle.

The announcement made at Park Street Citadel in Grand Falls-Windsor comes two years after efforts to raise money for such a building began.

“We started the process believing we needed a place to store the thing,” said Maj. Larry Goudie.

The garage will keep the vehicle out of the elements and, hopefully, help maintain the length of its usefulness to the area.

It is based in Grand Falls-Windsor and serves central Newfoundland from Glovertown to Baie Verte.

Derek Bennett, the minister of environment, climate change and municipalities, was one of a number of provincial and municipal officials on hand for the announcement.

The funding for the garage was made available through the special assistance grant program.

“The work of the Salvation Army in their role as first responders in Newfoundland and Labrador over the years is to be commended,” Bennett stated in a news release. “They are there to assist when a disaster occurs or when a family is in need.

“This funding will help the organization in their efforts to house their emergency disaster services vehicle as they provide meals to those working on the front lines when an emergency happens.”

The vehicle is intended to provide relief services for any number of emergencies.

Aside from delivering food to truckers on the west coast of the island, the relief vehicle has attended fire scenes and search and rescue operations, as well as provided support in the wake of natural disasters, amongst other events.

When it attends those emergencies, it is used by first responders and frontline workers as a place to obtain food or water.

“Emergency relief services is all about rising to the challenge of unforeseen circumstances,” said Maj. Rene Loveless, public relations and development secretary with the provincial Salvation Army. “The fact we are here today is another significant step in the process of being better prepared to do just that.”

Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice