Mar 25, 2020 1:44 AM

Feeding those who need it the most

Posted Mar 25, 2020 1:44 AM
<b>Captain Lynn Lopez, commanding officer, and Elizabeth Stang, cook, prepare a meal in the Saline County Salvation Army kitchen. </b>Photo courtesy The Saline County Salvation Army
Captain Lynn Lopez, commanding officer, and Elizabeth Stang, cook, prepare a meal in the Saline County Salvation Army kitchen. Photo courtesy The Saline County Salvation Army

Salina Post

The Salvation Army of Saline County has announced that it will continue to offer meals to those needing assistance at this time and they've added an extra day of food service!

Saturday meals will now be included.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, meals will now be handed out at the south door of The Salvation Army, 1137 North Santa Fe Avenue, according to information provided by the organization. Serving times will continue on the following schedule as needed, the organization noted.

Breakfast -- 8:15-9:15 a.m.

Lunch -- 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Supper -- 4-5:30 p.m.

"With so many children out of schools and parents' budgets stretched, as well as the early shopper hoarding, we are trying to reach the most vulnerable families and homeless populations out there," Captain Lynn Lopez told Salina Post. "We just began to offer Saturday meals because of the instant message requests for meals on our Facebook page."

Lopez said The Salvation Army is taking extra precautions to protect both those it serves and its own personnel.

"I am a certified emergency disaster person. So as soon as I knew this was going to get worse, I began planning for how we could help the community in the best ways," she said.

Lopez said the local organization ordered deep sanitizers, Clorox wipes, and blue gloves. Sleeves of to-go plates and other items necessary for the current operation also were purchased.

"I implemented the drive thru/walk thru to-go meals at the door and simply ask how many they need to feed their family," she said.

Lopez noted that in addition prepping for deep cleaning, the COVID-19 outbreak has had another impact on the organization.

"The main change is the number of meals we are serving. We have an excellent cook who works diligently to provide nutritious, stick-to-your-ribs-meals," Lopez said.

Prior to the pandemic outbreak, the local Salvation Army fed 45-75 meals per day, with some suppers seeing more than 100, Lopez explained. Those were prepared by the organization's cook and served by local church volunteers, she said.

Now the organization is serving 185 to 200 meals per day, Lopez noted. Staff from the temporarily closed Salvation Army thrift store now assist the organization's cook, she said. Additionally, the officer staff is helping prepare and serve the meals at the door, Lopez said.

The morning meal consists of a continental breakfast with a cup of coffee and milk if it is available, while the noontime meal is a hot lunch or soup and sandwich, and supper is a hot meal, Lopez explained.

The well-being of others

Lopez said that the local organization is also providing other services to help others.

"We continue having emergency services available such as our food pantry and the showers. We basically do phone interviews so we can look the client up in our database for approval. Then we meet them at the door with a food box. All carts are then cloroxed-down for next use," she said.

"We are praying for relief from this virus and have taken to posting church services online in Facebook. On Sundays I call people and visit with them to make sure everyone is doing OK mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually," said Lopez, who is working toward her chaplaincy certification.

Lopez noted that soon, The Salvation Army will have an 800 number for people "who are stressing out from staying home all the time and whatever various emotions they are experiencing."

"If there is more The Saline County Salvation Army can do I would like to hear from other leaders in the community in order to plan for changes," Lopez said. "God bless and keep each one in His perfect care. He is our shelter and refuge!"

Continue Reading Salina Post
Mar 25, 2020 1:44 AM
Look for ways to help children cope during crisis, experts say

MANHATTAN – Children and adults experience and react differently in times of crisis.

“We sometimes only think of disasters as weather-related events, but we know that anything that disrupts daily life and community well-being on a large scale is a disaster,” said Bradford Wiles, associate professor and extension specialist with Kansas State University’s College of Health and Human Services. “Thinking about and being compassionate in how we all feel and process our emotions is crucial to our own, our families’, and our communities’ resilience in the face of the current pandemic.” 

A K-State publication, written by Wiles and associate professor and extension specialist Elizabeth Kiss, includes information that can help communities recognize the negative effects that tough times have on the mental well-being of children.

The publication, titled Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover, is available online from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore.

Wiles and Kiss outline suggested ways parents can help children cope during hard times:

  1. Reassure the child that you are still together and that you will be there to help as long as you can.
  2. Return to pre-disaster routines to the extent possible, including bedtime, bath time, meal time and waking up times.
  3. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. It can be difficult to take care of a child if you are not feeling well.
  4. Talk with your child about your feelings.
  5. Encourage children to draw, write or tell stories about their experiences. Talking about how the disaster or tough time has changed them can be beneficial.

The publication also includes signs to look for in children and how to emerge in a positive direction from times of crisis.

K-State Research and Extension has compiled numerous publications and other information to help people take care of themselves and others during times of crisis. See the complete list of resources online.

Local K-State Research and Extension agents are still on the job during this time of closures and confinement. They, too, are practicing social distancing. Email is the best way to reach them, but call forwarding and voicemail allow for closed local offices to be reached by phone as well (some responses could be delayed). To find out how to reach your local agents, visit the K-State Research and Extension county and district directory.

Signs of depression

Signs of depression in early childhood: tantrums, physical complaints, brief periods of sadness, listlessness or hyperactivity, lack of interest in activities, withdrawal.

Signs of depression in middle childhood: new phobias, hyperactivity, conduct disorders (lying or stealing), refusal to leave parents, periods of sadness, vague anxiety or agitation, suicidal thoughts.

Signs of depression in adolescents: changes in appearance, withdrawal, fatigue, eating problems, substance abuse, risk-taking, sudden change in peer group, loss of interest, sleep problems, hostility, suicidal thoughts.

-- Source: Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover