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Home » Ontario County » Geneva » Need for food distribution program grows in Geneva, but Salvation Army forced to shut it down

Need for food distribution program grows in Geneva, but Salvation Army forced to shut it down

The Salvation Army of Geneva has not gotten enough donations to sustain one of its cornerstone programs.

The food distribution program has depended on donations of fresh and frozen foods from Thruway rest stops and other organizations. Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic — most of those businesses are either closed or short on product.

There aren’t enough supplies to keep the food distribution program running, so The Salvation Army made the difficult decision to suspend the program.

The Food Pantry is still open from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Staff members are taking orders over the phone and scheduling an appointment for people to pick up their food. Volunteers will meet them at the door with their box of food at the appointment time. People who come to the food pantry are typically allowed to pick what they want, but The Salvation Army is now offering pre-packaged boxes to stay within new health guidelines to limit people from congregating and maintain social distancing. To schedule an appointment or to volunteer to help people in need, call 315-789-1055.

Captain Luis and Nydia Martinez are The Salvation Army’s Commanding Officers in Geneva. Capt. Luis says the number of people he serves has multiplied, and he expects that number to keep climbing. “In just a matter of two weeks, the need for our Food Pantry assistance has increased from three daily appointments to about thirteen,” said Captain Luis Martinez. “We expect more people will need our services, as more people are furloughed or laid off from work.”

The Salvation Army is still distributing vouchers for needs like emergency prescriptions, hotel stays for the homeless, and utility payments. Those requests are also being taken over the phone and pick up is by appointment only.

Meanwhile, The Salvation Army is using technology to keep people spiritually connected while they are socially isolated. Bible studies in both English and Spanish are still scheduled multiple times per week using Zoom video conferencing. The days and hours are as follows: English- Mondays 7:00 pm-8:00 pm and Wednesdays: 6:30-8:00 pm. Spanish- Mondays 6:00pm-7:00pm and Thursdays: 6:30pm-8:00pm. English and Spanish: Sundays 10:00 am. To join, go to and add the appropriate ID Code: Spanish- 3154883402 or English-8340967723

All children’s programs and the Afterschool Teen’s Café are canceled.

Church services are not being held in the chapel, but The Salvation Army is streaming Sunday services at this link:

Captain Martinez says changes during these unprecedented times can be unexpected and fast. He says the best way to stay up to date with The Salvation Army is check the Facebook page –

Donations are accepted at