S.A. Salvation Army heads to Florida, provides relief from Hurricane Matthew

Salvation Army sending relief to Florida

SAN ANTONIO -- While most on the east coast want to get out of hurricane country, others are headed in.

A hometown Salvation Army team has packed up their raincoats, ready to hit the road to Florida.

They’ll be driving one of ten Salvation Army mobile restaurants or "canteens" headed to Tallahassee to feed first responders and those left homeless.

"[Our District Office] said you guys are one of 10 Salvation Army canteen trucks that are being dispatched to cover this hurricane," said Salvation Army spokesman, Brad Mayhar.

In preparation for one of the most powerful hurricanes in years, a team of Salvation Army employees is ready to hit the road to Florida.

"There's first responders that go. A lot of times that's who we'll serve. A lot of those guys work and work and they don't want to eat. What they want is candies and sodas and sugars and stuff like that. So we keep a lot of that on board," said John Mancilla, Property Manager of the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services.

Their canteen is essentially a food truck deployed to natural disasters.

"We are here to make 500 meals every breakfast, 500 meals for lunch and 500 meals for dinner," Mancilla said.

The team drives to hard-hit areas and works 12 to 14-hour days.

"We get to the location, we do a lot of scouting, we talk to the locals and then we find the place and we just go to work," Mancilla said.

They set up a tent and hand out water and hot meals three times a day.

"I've been to Eagle Pass, I've been to Del Rio, we've been to Pharr, we've been to Oklahoma, to Wimberley," Mancilla said.

The team takes off early Saturday morning and will arrive in Tallahassee late Sunday. The truck has about 21,000 miles on it. This time next week it will have 2,000 more.

"We may go to a neighborhood where it's been flooded out and everybody's cleaning up their houses," said Mancilla. "As opposed to them leaving to go get lunch, we pull up and provide lunch so they can stay there."

The team could be in Florida up to two weeks.

"Whenever we go to locations like this and do things like this, we do see a lot of suffering. We do see a lot of loss," said Mancilla. "We're there to give a little bit of relief."

The Salvation Army's canteen isn't limited to serving areas hit by natural disasters. They also use the truck locally to serve cold beverages to those in need during the hot summer days.

If you wish to donate, The Salvation Army prefers monetary donations.

You can donate by visiting www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org  or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

(© 2016 KENS)


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