How do you feed over 10,000 people over two days?
The Salvation Army’s knows how thanks to our mass feeding expertise in disasters.
We are happy to share comments on last weekend’s assignment during the Papal visit in Philadelphia from Colonel Gene Pigford.
The Salvation Army’s role in the City of Philadelphia’s plans for the Papal visit was to prepare and delivery meals to law enforcement personnel on duty for the weekend.
A total of 127 Salvation Army workers from throughout the Army’s Eastern Territory were given the responsibility of preparing and delivering 70,223 meals to 10,900 law enforcement personnel on duty for the weekend.
Seven members of the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster (EDS) Team from Sidney, New York: Barry Cole, Marie Cole, Stephen Marshall, Elinor Coles, Carole Raymundo, Colonels Edie and Gene Pigford and Ann Vail, Service Unit director from our Empire Division, joined with other workers from Maine, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York State and Ohio.
Meals for the weekend were provided by a generous food donation from Wawa Inc., a convenience store chain based in the Philadelphia area.
By Saturday, as increased portions of the city were blocked off from motor vehicle traffic, The Salvation Army faced the challenge of delivering food to law enforcement, and other security personnel. In many cases, we had to pass through multiple security checkpoints to do so. They delivered meals to personnel at more than 50 sites in secured areas. In addition, EDS workers staffed six mobile feeding units throughout center city, old city and the art museum areas.
Mid to late afternoons on Saturday and Sunday found EDS personnel busily involved in preparing thousands of hot sandwiches for dinner distribution.
On Saturday evening and Sunday morning, EDS personnel were escorted in to the high level security areas by motorcycle police to reach the personnel on duty on there. Crowds lined the Papal route 8-10 people deep in on streets which had to be crossed multiple times to reach some personnel.
Among his many notable remarks, Pope Francis declared in his speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Saturday, “in a world where different forms of modern tyranny seek to suppress religious freedom, or as I mentioned before, try to reduce it to a subculture without right to a voice in the public square, or to use religion as a pretext for hatred and brutality, it is imperative that the followers of the various religions join their voices calling for peace, tolerance, respect for the dignity and rights of others.”Disaster