Being A Helper: Volunteering with Salvation Army of Spokane to feed thousands at drive-thru food distribution

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — The Salvation Army’s drive-thru food drive in Spokane Valley drew hundreds of cars to the Opportunity Shopping Center parking lot yesterday.

To help struggling families affected by COVID-19, they handed out 571 boxes of free food items.

The food items were funded by a donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

This food drive also happened along with Salvation Army organizations across Washington state.

Volunteers directed traffic, filled bags with food items and loaded up cars.

Families were able to get an assortment of grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables and even gift cards to Safeway and Franz Bakery.

At this event instead of just ‘Find the Helpers’, I decided to join in and be a helper too.

Volunteering with the Salvation Army

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They started 10 minutes early and it was a little overwhelming, but it was great to see so many people had showed up.

I wanted to meet and greet the people we were serving, so I started with helping load up cars.

It was nice getting to see people but it was hard to keep track of which cars were loaded and which weren’t.

I did find myself running in circles a few times, but for the people I was able to help, I could tell they were grateful.

Volunteering with the Salvation Army

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But I really found my footing at the food bag assembly line.

I jumped in to add rice or pasta and then two cans of vegetables to each bag— it was almost hard to stop!

But eventually I did, and I spoke to a volunteer that’s been doing this a little longer than me.

Michael Fortney said he started volunteering at the Salvation Army food bank about a month ago.

“It’s come to my heart that I see people who are in need and I wanted to be a part of helping people be able to feed their families,” said Fortney. “And I’ve been happy with what the Salvation Army’s doing for people because I see them on an every day basis.”

Major Ken Perine encourages those who missed the food distribution to stop by the Salvation Army food bank.

“We want people to be saving their rent to pay their rent and their electric bill and for food, come to us. We can help you out with that,” he said.

Sometimes the boxes were heavy, and my mask wouldn’t stay on, and my glasses fogged up…

But being a helper, even if only for 30 minutes, was definitely worth it.

See the Salvation Army of Spokane website for more information on the food bank and to become a volunteer.

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