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Amidst pandemic, Salvation Army still serving community

East Liverpool Salvation Army Lt. Lydia Behr (center) received assistance from volunteers Ron Russell and Lori Shreve. (Photo by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

EAST LIVERPOOL — When Ohio shut down restaurant dining rooms earlier this year, the city’s Salvation Army found itself closing its monthly ELSA’s Kitchen, too.

The coronavirus pandemic exposed the often discussed but somewhat overlooked food shortage for many members of the community.

And, while food pantries and public schools rushed to fill the need for people who fit their criteria, still others fall through the cracks.

That is where ELSA’s comes in.

Early this week, the team mobilized to provide ham and chicken dinners for the community.

According to Lt. Lydia Behr, who oversees the initiative, their attendance for the take-outs seemed to mirror their dine-in numbers then considering they couldn’t grant requests for seconds Monday or Tuesday.

Behr set up a table at the usual entrance for the dining area and people did not enter the facility to pick up the already boxed meals.

On Tuesday, diners enjoyed a chicken dinner with chicken noodle casserole, a vegetable, bread and butter and dessert, which they were handed through an open foyer door by volunteers wearing masks and gloves.

They plan to do it all again the week of July 27, with dine-in beginning in August.

Most of the Salvation Army’s other programming is back in force except the summer camp.

Behr is still working on bringing back their school supply collection effort, although she isn’t sure how it will happen yet.

For more information of the Salvation Army, call. 330-385-2086.

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