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Volunteers of the Salvation Army in Tehachapi help prepare food boxes for Fresh Rescue days, held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week.

The Salvation Army continues in its effort to meet human need however and whenever it can.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the Salvation Army has not closed its doors.

In recent months, the Tehachapi branch of the nonprofit, humanitarian organization has teamed up with Tehachapi Community Church to help feed the community as we enter yet another month of job losses, social distancing and quasi-quarantines.

In addition to Fresh Rescue days, held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week, Senior Sacks and monthly commodities, the Salvation Army now offers Protein Boxes every Wednesday morning, supplied by Tehachapi Community Church.

Last April, Sandy Chavez, Salvation Army director for Tehachapi, said she received a phone call from the Rev. Nancy Bacon of the local church.

Bacon asked Chavez if the Salvation Army could house protein boxes the church receives from The Mission in Bakersfield each week. The boxes needed to be refrigerated, and help was needed to distribute them.

“I said, ‘Of course.’ There is just so much need here for meat,” said Chavez.

Chavez said she contacted entities in Boron, California City, Rosamond and Mojave as possible recipients of some of the boxes.

Said Chavez, “Those folks right there, they reach the outlying area of the Mojave desert. These boxes are now reaching those areas.”

Early each Wednesday, volunteer drivers arrive at The Mission to pick up two pallets, or 288 boxes, each filled with 10 pounds of a protein mixture of meat and cheese.

“Sometimes, it is deli meat slices and really good quality cheese. Other times it has been pre-cooked, chicken meatballs, and a grated cheese blend. This week, it was pork taco meat and a cheese blend. It is really good food,” said Bacon.

Upon arriving in Tehachapi, nonprofit organizations from Tehachapi and outlying areas come to pick up the boxes; however, Chavez said there are plenty left over to fill individual need in Tehachapi.

“It feels really good to know that there are places where seniors and children live and they are getting food. But, anybody is welcome. They are not asking for any information. Just show up Wednesday morning and pick up a box,” said Bacon.

Volunteer drivers are being sought to help pick up the boxes on Wednesdays and unload them at the Salvation Army.

According to Bacon, the program grant has been extended for the next two years. In the near future, milk and produce will be added.

“It’s just a beautiful thing,” said Chavez.

For more information on the Salvation Army’s available programs or to volunteer to pickup Protein Boxes or unload them, contact the Salvation Army at 823-9508 or the Rev. Nancy Bacon via email at revnbacon@gmail.com.

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