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Need milk? Salvation Army gives milk away weekly

By Dawn Burleigh

While some are waiting for life to return to some form of normalcy, others whom were struggling prior to the pandemic are feeling the financial strain that much more.

Salvation Army, through a grant made possible because of COVID-19, has partnered with Farmers to Family USDA to supply 150 gallons of milk to the area each week starting at 9 a.m. to Noon on Tuesdays.

“This will happen through the end of the year,” Captain Jan Zuniga of The Salvation Army of Orange County said. “If there is extra, we will give it away on Wednesday. We will do this until the end of the year thanks to a contract with Borden and Framers to Families.”

When available, the Army will also hand out free masks for children.

The milk giveaway is set up as a drive thru on the side of the building. Vehicles can drive up and a person will hand them the milk, so they do not have to get out of the car.

“If you can’t make it, someone else can pick it up,” Zuniga said. “It is a basic drive thru. We just ask that you be a resident of Orange County.”

The organization selected the number of gallons based on what they could store.

“While the Boys and Girls Club is closed, we are still open, running and seeing our kids,” Zuniga said.

Program Coordinator Kitty Hebert has planned activities for the children who would normally utilize the facilities but cannot at this time due to COVID restrictions.

“Thanks to INVISTA for the supplies for the activities and the Houseman Foundation for providing kid friendly snacks and meals,” Zuniga said. “When the kids receive the activities packets, they have all the supplies they need to do the activity. The food is something a child can fix for them self.”

In partnership with Stark Art Museum and its art program, the Army was able to hand out extra packets to non-club members.

“We handed out 109 packets,” Zuniga said. “We have 62 club members, so that is 47 more children we were able to serve.”

And while the children are not in the facility, the staff has found other ways to stay in contact.

“We miss the kids and families,” Zuniga said. “We stay in contact through text, phone calls and deliveries.”

The organization is also working on a virtual program for the children.

“We are working through the details,” Zuniga said. “We want to be able to serve the kids we normally tend for and we understand people are suffering with job loss due to COVID and having to send the children to other family members. The ones we serve have been financially significantly hit.”

To reopen the club under the COVID restrictions, the organization would need twice the staff to meet the guidelines.

“Community partnership is needed,” Zuniga said.

Look for new opportunities to help support Salvation Army in the near future.