Kelowna’s Salvation Army unveiled a new Mobile Community Response Unit at their annual Christmas Kettle fundraising launch this morning.
The Salvation Army’s previous mobile kitchen unit, which is now being used in Cranbrook, had been active since 2005, providing up to 1,000 meals a day during a disaster.
Now, thanks to an anonymous donor, Kelowna has the ability to provide even more meals during times of need.
“This new unit has an increased capacity where we can provide about 3,000 meals a day,” said Darryl Burry, lead pastor and executive director with Kelowna’s Salvation Army.
“It provides a significant step-up in our services that we can provide to those who are facing such difficult times in times of disaster.”
While Kelowna’s previous community response unit was effective, the necessity for a better unit was more prevalent in Kelowna than anywhere else in the province.
“When the anonymous donor came by and said he wanted to donate this new vehicle, our headquarters in Burnaby had to make the decision of where the greatest need for this vehicle was,” said Buroy. “Based upon the amount of times our units have deployed over the years they recognized Kelowna and the Okanagan area was the definite area where the need was the greatest.”
A free pancake breakfast and guided tours of the Sally Ann’s Community Life Centre were also offered during the fundraising launch.
Last year, the Salvation Army helped more than 600 local families and over 1,100 children, through its Christmas Food and Toy Blessing Program. This year it hopes to raise $700,000.