PITTSBURGH -- Since partnering at the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, the Salvation Army of Pennsylvania and Operation BBQ Relief have reached some major milestones in providing meals to those in need.
On Wednesday, June 17, Operation BBQ Relief will serve its 7 millionth meal since the organization began in 2011, with the Salvation Army having distributed about one-third of those meals over the years, according to a release.
The milestone meal will be served at the Salvation Army's Reading Citadel location.
“Our partnership with Operation BBQ Relief has provided struggling families across the state with warm meals prepared with love and care, and for that, we are eternally grateful as we continue to serve those impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Major Raphael Jackson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Western PA Division.
The Salvation Army has served more than 8 million meals across Pennsylvania since the pandemic began in mid-March, with over 2 million of those meals coming from Operation BBQ Relief.
The collaboration between the The Salvation Army Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware & Western Pennsylvania divisions, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s emergency Feeding Task Force and Operation BBQ Relief, a non-profit disaster relief organization, enabled some Pennsylvania restaurants to re-employ laid off workers who utilized restaurant kitchens to prepare the meals The Salvation Army distributed, according to the release.
In addition to paying for the food, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided refrigeration and freezer trucks to transport the meals to warehouses in Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, Lebanon, Pittsburgh and Altoona each week and remain onsite to store the frozen food until it was distributed.