The Salvation Army Fights Pandemic Poverty in Tarrytown

With more vaccinated adults and fewer masks, you might think that Tarrytown has stepped out of the Covid woods. But that’s far from the case, according to Lieutenants John and Lida Ruiz of The Salvation Army, whose Corps has served the community long before Covid hit and now, well into its next phase. The Lieutenants say there is no end in sight.

Across the country, thousands of individuals and families are making impossible choices when it comes to food, shelter, clothing, and other life necessities. As of March 2021, the nation’s poverty rate reached a pandemic high of 11.7% — a full point higher than the year prior. Things are no different in Tarrytown, and Lts. Ruiz say the need on the ground is urgent.

Food remains the #1 need in Tarrytown. The demand for food assistance was staggering during the pandemic, with The Salvation Army providing some 7.6 million meals from mid-March 2020 to mid-April 2021 throughout New York. Many programs providing free children’s meals are closed, putting our children further at risk.

With the help of the community, more than 300 families are fed monthly and more than 300 children receive gifts, clothes, and school supplies in difficult times through The Salvation Army. The Tarrytown Corps’ adult, youth, and kid programs are seeing needs in terms of food, spiritual education, and family unit. Tickets are given for the food pantry on the last Thursday of each month, and the food bag is distributed on Friday, the following day. The Corps also has a food pantry truck that distributes goods on the second Tuesday of each month. Donations of clothing, shoes, and kitchen items in good condition are also accepted.

An integral part of the community for 132 years, The Salvation Army Greater New York Division operates more than 100 community and human service programs, serving more than one million people a year, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation. For more information, visit


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