The Salvation Army has once again stepped forward to provide food for those passing through in service of the Southwest coast, this time bringing food to provincial firefighters as they battle the forest fire that has, to date, burned over 90 hectares near the Overfalls area in Codroy Valley. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when only tractor trailers were venturing on and off the island, volunteers with the Port aux Basques branch of the Salvation Army provided free meals for weeks for the truck drivers.
Corps Officer Maurice Collins explained that the meals are prepared in the new, restaurant grade Salvation Army kitchen by volunteers before being transported by car up to the firefighters.
“We’re met outside the fire area itself by their supervisor. The supervisor takes it and brings it in to the firefighters,” said Collins via phone interview.
Collins estimates that his volunteers are currently feeding a little over a dozen firefighters, including the helicopter and water bomber pilots.
The plan to feed the firefighters supper and extra water came about after the Salvation Army reached out to the Codroy Valley Volunteer Fire Department and soon received confirmation that the fire crews would welcome the offer.
Other members of the public have also reached out to provide raw goods for the meal preparation, but Collins says not everyone is yet aware that the Salvation Army is stepping in to help the firefighters.
“We just put it on Facebook last night. I’ve had quite a response to that of course, and we’re not soliciting donations at all. It’s just that people have dropped them off.”
It’s still unclear how long the blaze may last and how long the fire crews will be on site, but Collins touches base with them every morning to confirm the number of firefighters he’ll feed that evening. As usual, the Salvation Army volunteers are just happy to help.
“They’re really appreciative of what we’re doing for them.”