About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army assists more than one million people experiencing hardship and disadvantage, working in the areas of greatest stress, including:
Families Facing Crisis
Drug, Alcohol & Gambling Addictions
Through our emergency relief centres across the country we are assisting people experiencing significant financial difficulty. By providing food vouchers and parcels, assistance with utility bills, offering financial counselling and community meals we are helping to relieve some of the financial pressure thousands of families and individuals face.
Soup is the unsung hero for people struggling to make ends meet. With cheap ingredients, a humble batch of soup can satisfy hunger and provide nutrition for a whole family at very low cost (and it can be stretched further by adding inexpensive ingredients like lentils or stock). It’s easy to make, warms us up in the winter, and let’s face it—it’s delicious.
How we help
The Salvation Army operates more than 1,000 different social services across Australia, each one tailored to meet the needs of the local community. When you sign up to Be A Souperhero, you are helping the Salvos continue to provide programs like these.
Café Salvo in Box Hill, Victoria is one of many ‘cafes’ run by the Salvos. It’s a fully functioning business and is staffed by paid workers but relies on volunteers to keep operating. The café operates as a safe haven for people from within the community to rest during the day, have a chat with Salvo workers, or to find a listening ear.
A range of support services are operated from the café including material aid (food hampers), financial counselling and positive lifestyle programs. Recently Café Salvo introduced a ‘suspended coffee’ program which invites people from the community to donate the price of a coffee which can then be retrieved by those who come in for welfare assistance. So far more than 500 coffees have been donated to people in need!
Do Unto Others
It might be hard for many of us to comprehend - but people in our cities are completely isolated from friends, family or any kind of support network. Do Unto Others is a dinner program in Adelaide’s CBD providing much needed food, support and friendship to vulnerable people in the city. On Wednesday and Saturday nights The Salvation Army opens its doors from 5pm. Guests are welcomed in to full table service which includes a hot meal, dessert, tea and coffee.
Up to 200 guests come through the doors throughout the evening – ranging from young homeless people and single parents with small children to elderly couples. Throughout the evening staff and volunteers sit and chat with guests, build up relationships, and where possible link them with services. On Saturday nights, volunteers and guests often play board games, table tennis and watch movies together.
The Market Place
The Market Place at The Salvation Army in Adelaide CBD is an initiative giving people access to fresh food – completely free of charge. We know the price of fresh groceries is often out of reach for many people living on less than $17 a day – so on the first Friday of each month we set up stalls of fruit, vegetables, dairy products and baked goods for people in the community.
We have a “help yourself” approach and visitors are provided with a shopping bag to fill with goods. As well as providing food relief, visitors are equipped with food knowledge and healthy eating tips through various cooking demonstrations on the morning.
This program is a ground-breaking opportunity to help struggling families in Adelaide – and an average of 600 people visit each month!
The Hamodava Café in Melbourne’s CBD is a welcoming community centre providing breakfast, lunch and support to people from all walks of life, especially those who find themselves living on the margins of society.
More than 2,000 meals and barista-made cups of coffee are served each week from the café. As well as this, training and job opportunities are available for people who might be homeless or unemployed.
The primary purpose of the café is to build relationships with people in the community. Staff and volunteers are based in the café to serve meals but also to provide support and assistance to people. This might be assistance to find housing, access to counselling or even legal assistance.
Every Tuesday morning The Salvation Army Carrum Downs transforms into a mini-supermarket and café for around 40 families. Anne Lane coordinates the supermarket and says over the years they’ve worked hard to create a non-judgemental and welcoming environment. “We get people from all walks of life coming here. We don’t ask people to prove anything about themselves or to justify why they need help with groceries,” she says.
One visitor-turned-volunteer is Sarah – a single mother of two small children, both with special needs.
“I’ve been coming in here to get fresh fruit and vegetables for a while now. There are lots of hidden costs associated with having kids with special needs and it’s hard to make ends meet.”
Before she started regularly visiting the supermarket, it wasn’t uncommon for Sarah to skimp on meals to make sure the kids had something to eat.
“I feel quite transformed. Being able to get fresh fruit and vegetables had made me feel so much healthier on the inside and out.”
“It’s a great place to make friends. It’s welcoming, and there’s no judgement. I love being able to give back,” Sarah says.