Clovis Salvation Army stalls traffic

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People in need line up for blocks to receive assistance.

Cars line up during food distribution day at the Clovis Corps. [Photo by Hap Wood]

One Tuesday morning, a traffic jam stretching more than 1-1/4 miles led police in Clovis, Calif., to the doorstep of their local Salvation Army corps. The cause—more than 300 families in need of the Clovis Corps’ FDA (U. S. Food and Drug Administration) food distribution lined up and “creating havoc” from Shaw Avenue, up Minnewawa Blvd., and halfway down Barstow Avenue.

When officers arrived at the Clovis Corps they questioned Captain Sia Xiong about what was causing the traffic jam in the heart of this Central California town of 95,000. Her response, “It’s commodities day, and a lot of people are in line to get FDA food from the food bank.”

Astonished, the police officers immediately reported the situation to their headquarters. They then asked what they and other officers could do to help.

Xiong smiled and said, “We are almost out of food because so many people are in need, and we are serving twice as many individuals as before.”

The officers returned to their headquarters, and Caroline Carlson of the Clovis Police Department helped to set up food collection boxes. Three days later they delivered 159 lbs. of donated food to the corps. The officers also committed to continuing to collect food for the Clovis Corps.

“Now that’s support!” said Salvation Army Advisory Council Chairperson Hap Wood. “Thanks to Clovis’s finest from The Salvation Army and those in our community we help every day.”

Less than three years ago the Army started distributing about 112 food boxes each month; now they are distributing 350, sometimes running out. Yes, they did run out of food that day. However, this ongoing project by the Clovis Police is helping The Salvation Army provide food and hope for many individuals and families during this difficult time.

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