San Francisco’s Million Meals for Haiti

Golden State Division packs one million meals in one day.

by Laine Hendricks –

Members of The Salvation Army Alameda County advisory board pitch in to help. [Photo by Laine Hendricks]

The Golden State Division rallied Bay Area volunteers to package one million meals for Haiti and become the first Salvation Army-led effort—in conjunction with Numana, Inc.—to do so in just one day. Following the success of the Southern California Division meal-packaging event in March, Golden State’s Million Meals for Haiti endeavor in San Francisco made headlines on April 24 when its volunteers surpassed that goal in under 15 hours.

Nearly 2,000 volunteers from around Northern California helped with the effort, representing cities from the Bay Area, Sacramento, and as far away as Hanford in the Central San Joaquin Valley. A wide variety of groups participated, from Bay area churches and financial institutions to families and community groups. The American Red Cross provided a team of 50 people to help during one shift. Many new volunteer contacts—both individuals and groups—developed thanks to this community-minded event.

Achieving this goal involved division-wide collaboration among corps, along with a large amount of support from the neighboring Del Oro Division, both in volunteer recruitment and event promotion. Numerous corps fielded teams of youth, seniors and families to help reach the massive goal, some traveling upwards of four hours to participate. Providing extra muscle were the San Francisco, Oakland, and Lytton Adult Rehabilitation Centers, and covering the final shift was a group of 200 young people from Del Oro’s Youth Councils, held that same weekend.

In addition to becoming the first Salvation Army group to achieve one million meals in one day (1,019,568 meals, to be exact), Million Meals for Haiti marked the successful launch of an all-online volunteer registration system for the Golden State Division—paving the way for ease in volunteer recruitment for future events.

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