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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services plays role in COVID-19 pandemic relief

Delaware Public Media
The number of people turning to the Salvation Army for help with food is up substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Salvation Army is increasing its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, activating the full resources of its Emergency Disaster Services (EDS):

With Delaware’s latest unemployment rate currently standing at 14.3-percent, the Salvation Army understands there is an urgent need for assistance.

“And when these unusual occurrences come about - hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms - those things, we raise to the next level if you will, of service for people. And our Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) folks come in to play with that,” said Captain Timothy Sheehan - the state coordinator for the Salvation Army in Delaware.“They are the folks who carry direct program responsibility, expertise in managing donations and moving personnel around, and just helping us at that next level of response for people.” 

Sheehan says the Salvation Army is seeing a substantial increase in new people coming in for food at its three locations in Delaware - people who have never needed assistance from them before. 

He notes the Salvation Army normally serves about 100 clients a month with food; they are now serving 100 clients a week since the pandemic started. 


He says last month the Salvation Army launched an online virtual food pantry to help those in need. The groceries purchased to date with donations created food boxes and bags handed out at the Salvation Army’s Corp Community Centers in Seaford, Dover and New Castle.

Sheehan says volunteers, staff and officers across the Salvation Army Pennsylvania and Delaware Division have logged more than 69,000 hours serving on the front lines since the pandemic started.

Sheehan says they’ve reached more than 20,000 people in one way or another - all while wearing masks and gloves or practicing social distancing.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.