Chicago, IL (May 24, 2012) – During the NATO Summit in Chicago on Sunday, May 20, and Monday, May 21, The Salvation Army served as the sole agency designated by the City of Chicago to provide hot meals, box lunches, hydration and snacks for nearly 7,500 law enforcement officers and emergency responders. Coordinated by The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division, the mass feeding operation was a combined effort involving Salvation Army officers and volunteers from three USA Salvation Army Territories: Central Territory, Eastern Territory and Southern Territory.
Beginning on Friday, May 18, and continuing through the afternoon of Monday, May 22, 372 Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers served 20,130 bag lunches, 8,560 hot meals, 41,560 snacks, 141,408 bottles of water and Gatorade™ and more than 34,000 pounds of ice. Food and beverage distribution took place at three fixed feeding locations and 18 different hydration stations.
Salvation Army staff and volunteers travelled from Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Volunteers performed a total of 3,962 service hours boxing lunches, preparing meals and serving law enforcement officials and first responders. The Salvation Army coordinated efforts with approximately 30 other city, state and federal agencies.
The Salvation Army Florida Division provided a state-of-the-art mobile field kitchen and experienced personnel capable of preparing more than 25,000 meals per day. The Salvation Army also deployed 10 canteens, four rapid response vehicles, three box trucks and one refrigerated truck.
"The Salvation Army has been a Godsend,” said William Schatz, Deputy Director of Critical Incident Review, Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications. “Their professional, continual support has been incredible and we appreciate what they brought to the table during a stressful time of long hours over several days. The Salvation Army doesn’t know the word ‘No.’"
“It was an honor for The Salvation Army to have the privilege to serve the dedicated and hard working men and women who were providing for the security and safety of our city during this historic international event,” said Major David Dalberg, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. “The months of planning and inter-agency coordination truly paid off. The feeding operation needed to be flexible and responsive at all times. Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers worked diligently around the clock and performed at the highest possible level to provide sustenance and support to law enforcement and first responders who were often called into service at a moment’s notice.”
Leaders from around the world gathered in Chicago for this important diplomatic summit hosted by President Barack Obama. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held meetings in Chicago from May 20-21, allowing the city to highlight its economic vitality, arts and architecture and can-do spirit. This was the first time an American city other than Washington, DC, has hosted a NATO summit. About 2,000 journalists from across the world were in Chicago to chronicle the events.
About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.