Salvos serving community

The Salvation Army is one of many dedicated volunteer groups that provide an important service to the community.

SERVED: Salvation Army Kitchen Team Leader Dianne Sampson with Assistant Team Leader Damian Smith.

SERVED: Salvation Army Kitchen Team Leader Dianne Sampson with Assistant Team Leader Damian Smith.

Recently the Whyalla News went behind the scenes of the organisation to learn what daily tasks volunteers have to complete.

One of the most important services the Salvation Army provides is their community kitchen, where those in need are able to come to enjoy a meal for a low price.

The kitchen is open Tuesday to Friday every week, from 11am to 2pm, and is run by volunteers including Team Leader Dianne Sampson.

“I set up the cafe area and make sure it’s tidy, then begin making salads in the kitchen, make any desserts and on Tuesday we do food shopping,”  Ms Sampson said.

“We do occasionally have specials on like roast or curry, I also assign tasks for each member of the team to complete.

“After lunch has been served then we spend most of the time after that cleaning up the kitchen and the cafe.” 

Ms Sampson said her favourite part of volunteering was ‘interacting with staff and the community’.

“We generally have groups of regulars who come in, and sometimes we share some good banter,” she said.

Assistant Team Leader Damian Smith said his routine was very similar to Dianne’s, noting that cooking was one of his passions.

“I enjoy coming here every day, it does get quite busy in the kitchen on certain days though we do have some slow days as well,” he said.

“You form a bond with the people you’re working with and the customers as well, you learn a lot from the customers.

“We talk to just about everyone who comes in, and you get used to working with a lot of different people over time.”

Local volunteer Vanessa Hughes starts her day by interviewing those who are seeking food or some other form of support from the Salvation Army.

“Each day I come in, if there are any clients to see then I work in tandem with fellow volunteers to conduct their interviews,”  she said.

“The rest of my time is taken up by managing the storeroom, Foodbank brings food in on Tuesday and I help unload that and put it away.”

Ms Hughes said although the task of interviewing clients was daunting at first, she now enjoys it after six years in the role.

“When I first started there was a bit of learning curve but I don’t mind doing it now, I get to meet a lot of new people and engage with the community,” she said.

“I like volunteering here because of the people that I’ve met and being able to help out the community.”

Lieutenant Amy Jones said the Salvation Army were always busy, and that ‘no two days are the same’.

This story Salvos serving community first appeared on Whyalla News.