The Salvation Army providing food and hydration to Alabama students during pandemic
By: Karyn Lewis
The Salvation Army of Walker County, Alabama, has assisted the Walker County, Marion, Winston, Coleman, Marshall, and Blunt communities during the pandemic by helping with rent and utility payments, delivering meals to the elderly and grocery services.
But the most unusual service the Army has provided has been partnering with the Jasper School System to deliver snacks and hydration to students without water. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, all school water fountains are off-limits, leaving many students who do not bring water dehydrated through the school day.
“We have a relationship with the school district, so I reached out to see what could be done for students doing the pandemic. It’s great to be able to help our neighbors,” said Cynthia Smith, Walker County Service Center director.
Nearly 87 percent of students are below the poverty level and have no parent participation. After a Stuff the Bus school supply dropoff, Smith asked what The Salvation Army could do to assist these children in need. The school principal asked for the Army to provide water and juice. Teachers have provided these supplies in the past, but the expense of doing so adds up over time.
The Salvation Army has received a grant to supply hydration and snacks the entire school year. Water deliveries began in October, and hundreds of cases have been given to schools since then.
Reprinted from the blog of The Salvation Army Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Division. Karyn Lewis is an ALM media relations specialist.