Catering trucks and UTVs key Salvation Army tornado response

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By Philip Burn – 

As communities throughout North Texas continue to clean up and repair damage done by the Dec. 26 tornadoes, accessibility has become increasingly difficult. To address this problem The Salvation Army mobilized two catering trucks and two Polaris UTVs facilitating the delivery of meals, snacks and drinks to even the hardest hit areas.

On Tuesday, neighborhood streets of Garland and Rowlett were busy with the sounds of heavy equipment including city dump trucks and bulldozers removing rubble and debris while roofers worked alongside insurance companies on homes. These operations resulted in extremely congested neighborhoods. The Salvation Army Bryan College Station and DFW catering trucks were able to successfully maneuver through the streets to deliver meals, snacks, and drinks to grateful residents, workers, and volunteers.

Dwayne and Diane Walters, volunteers from The Salvation Army in Bryan College Station, began their deployment on Jan. 2 and anticipate serving at least through Thursday.

“We’ve been serving in this same area since Saturday and are getting to know some of the people,” Diane said. “The residents and workers are so happy to see The Salvation Army pulling up, especially when we crack open the sides of the truck and start serving. For lunch today we’re serving Salisbury steak and au gratin potatoes.”

Four mobile feeding units continue to provide drinks, snacks, and meals, along with emotional and spiritual care in Garland, Rowlett, the Ovilla/Glenn Heights area, and Sunnyvale.

Meals are being served to survivors, first responders, and volunteers at several locations. Additionally, Salvation Army caseworkers are meeting with tornado survivors at the Multi Agency Resource Center to learn of their specific needs for long-term recovery.

Since Dec. 26, The Salvation Army has served:

  • Financial assistance: $59,800
  • Food boxes: 896
  • Family store vouchers: 13,400
  • Household clean-up kits: 2,936
  • Individual hygiene kits: 8,535
  • Cases of bottled water: 12,048
  • Moving boxes: 2,400
  • Work gloves: 7,056 Pairs
  • Coats: 434
  • Blankets: 200
  • Meals: 15,689
  • Snacks: 18,665
  • Drinks: 26,445

Donations to support the ongoing Salvation Army response efforts can be made by texting STORM to 51555, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or online at  tsatx.org/floodandtornadorelief.

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