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Delaware County Pennsylvania Salvation Army assistance programs.

A few core social services from the Delaware County Salvation Army try to address food, shelter, and self-sufficiency. The exact forms and types of assistance provided will vary based on donation levels, funding, and the season as well. However the faith based charity will always try to provide free food, housing assistance, Christmas toys, disaster relief, and much more.

The case managers from the Salvation Army will meet with the applicant and take a holistic approach to the crisis. They will meet with the client to understand the financial challenges they face and also deal with emotional as well as physical needs. When possible, direct financial aid may be provided for paying certain bills, or they will offer referrals instead.

Hunger prevention is a core service in Delaware County, The Salvation Army tries to provide assistance by offering some or all of the following. The food programs also rely heavily on donations from people as well as businesses across the community.

  • Soup kitchens offer hot meals that are nutritional and healthy. There may also be Thanksgiving Turkeys, Christmas meals, and other special events.
  • Food pantries will contain groceries. Canned goods, fruits, vegetables, occasional infant formula, and more is available.
  • Senior citizens in Chester may also inquire into Meals on Wheels for seniors, and volunteers that are affiliated with the Salvation Army may offer this low cost service.

The free food from these services can really help struggling families make ends meet. Among other things, it will free up their income so they can pay for other expenses they have. The pantry is only for short term, emergency needs.

The Delaware County Pennsylvania Salvation Army organizes Christmas as well as back-to-school programs too. This is done in partnership with local businesses, charities, and other churches. Many individuals donate gifts, clothing, shoes, backpacks for school, or food during the holidays.




Then, during the fall months, low income families can register for a Christmas program such as Angel Tree. Or school supplies may be provided during the summer. If someone selects that child or family, then they can be given a free toy or items they need for the upcoming school year. Or the family can be given an entire meal for the holiday.

The vulnerable in the community may also have a Salvation Army staff member reach out to them during holidays. It can help reduce any isolation that people feel. The homebound can even have a dinner brought to them.

Financial help is always in high demand. But this is very limited. When it is available in Delaware County, any funds will be for a crisis only. If money is paid out, the Salvation Army will generally require the applicant to have an income to pay their bills on their own in the future.

For families facing eviction, there may be some rental assistance. Another priority is on keeping utilities on, so heating, electric, or water bill programs may operate. Other aid may be for medications, transportation, and similar unexpected expenses for otherwise self-sufficient residents.

Social workers offer counseling as well, or arrange this from partners in Delaware County. They can address employment needs as well as budgeting or credit repair. The Salvation Army is always a source of referrals for career development, such as job search skills or proper interview techniques. Then, if someone has a job interview in Chester but can't get there, there may be a voucher for the gasoline or a bus pass. The Salvation Army will offer this to help the client get on the patch to stability.

Disaster relief is available too. Whether a fire burns down a house in Chester, or a man made event occurs, the Salvation Army may offer shelter as well as food. They can try to arrange gently used furniture or clothing as well for the family. Many services are run in partnership with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).




Other services range from camps for children to transportation to senior centers. The staff offer the most vulnerable in the community support on the patch to self-sufficiency.

The main community center in Delaware County is at 151 W. 15th St., Chester, Pennsylvania 19013. Call 610-874-4266 for more information on the services as they will vary.


By Jon McNamara

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