Last winter the Salvation Army’s Winter Night Watch program in Omaha served more than 14,500 meals and distributed more than 9,000 coats, hats, gloves and scarves to those in need.
J.J. Kuzma is the Disaster Services, Winter Night Watch coordinator and says their first run of the season is tonight. He says at the beginning of each month they serve about 200 meals each night. By the end of the month that number is up to 450 people. Along with the hot meal they also distribute warm clothing to the homeless and near homeless in the metro area.
Two Salvation Army mobile canteens will make stops in the downtown and south Omaha areas. Kuzma says for the past several weeks the phones at the Salvation Army have been busy with questions about when the program starts and if there is a change in location. He says that shows how important this service is.
Kuzma says about 260 volunteers make this program possible. He says many of the volunteers have been with the Winter Night Watch for twelve years or more.
Tonight marks the program’s 26th year. Both canteens will be out Monday through Friday, from 6 until 9 pm. The program ends on February 27th.