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TSA Officers Serve Food and Forgiveness for the Soul at Corps Cafe

BALTIMORE, MD Lt. Melvin and Kimberly Harvey serve 80-120 people a day through their meal center at Temple Corps.

Temple Corps, located at 1601 W. Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21223, provides services for some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Central Maryland Area Command. To help address the communities’ need, Salvation Army officers Lt. Melvin and Kimberly Harvey make sure no one leaves their corps hungry or hopeless.

Temple Corps clients often sought food assistance. Since the site did not have a food pantry, feeding options for the clients were limited. That was until Lt. Melvin and Kimberly Harvey opened their meal center at the corps in March 2017.

Commonly known as Cornbread Café, the Salvation Army eatery serves 80-120 people every Thursday, from 1:00pm-4:00pm. The lieutenants, along with their church members, serve every customer a meal, refreshments, and dessert. “We want them to feel welcome,” said Lt. Kimberly.

The lieutenants make it a point to remember every customer’s name and serve them with integrity and southern hospitality.

Many clients at Temple Corps are in between jobs, lack permanent housing, or struggle with alcohol or drug addiction. Recognizing that this vulnerable demographic may also need spiritual care, Lt. Melvin and Kimberly Harvey accept prayer requests from the café’s customers upon sign-in.

“Many of the [clients] have gotten off track. I think it’s important for them to know that no matter how you messed up, or no matter how you slipped, God still loves you and he has not forgotten about you,” said Lt. Kimberly.

Since opening their meal center, the lieutenants have seen an increase in their congregation. Even more so, the lieutenants are adamant that no one gets turned away from Temple Corps.

One Sunday morning, an intoxicated gentleman came to the church at Temple Corps for worship. Assuming he would not be welcome in the church, he stood by the back door. Until, Lt. Kimberly Harvey invited him to sit and assured him that despite his condition, he would still receive the word.

“That’s why I fell in love with The Salvation Army. I’ve been to regular churches that will turn people away but in a Salvation Army church, you come as you are,” said Lt. Kimberly.

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DMG Foods Will Be the First Salvation Army Low-Income Grocery Store in the US

 

DMG Foods Concept

DMG Foods, named after The Salvation Army motto Doing The Most Good, will be a 7,000 sq. ft. non-profit grocery store that will provide healthy and affordable food in east Baltimore for families and individuals already receiving SNAP benefits. This non-profit grocery store will be the first of its kind in The Salvation Army and one of just a handful of non-profit grocery stores anywhere in the United States.

According to US Department of Agriculture, in 2014 the average Maryland resident receiving SNAP benefits receives $119.89 per person, per month—which is less than $4 a day. The goal of DMG Foods is to double the amount of food that clients can purchase with SNAP benefits.

The Salvation Army of Central Maryland partnered with the Maryland Food Bank to provide the majority of the store inventory and reached out to local farmers and suppliers for fresh products.

DMG Foods will also provide a 5-week workforce development program for citizens seeking employment. After providing these individuals with training and hands-on food retail experience, a case manager will assist them with job placement in Baltimore City. Ultimately, DMG Foods will not only provide affordable groceries but will give these local residents an opportunity to develop new skills and gain work experience, which in turn will improve their financial welfare and instill a sense of pride and self-worth.

DMG Foods is expected to open January 2018.

To learn more information about DMG Foods, please visit www.DMGFoods.org.