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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Salvation Army in Fort St. John has sent an Emergency Vehicle to serve meals to those that have been impacted by the ongoing wildfire situation.

Kim Maandag is the interim Ministry Lead at the Fort St. John Salvation army as well as the Dawson Creek Salvation Army.

“Whenever there is a disaster or incident of some kind, our vehicles go in and they are basically mobile kitchens. We go in and we work with whoever is in charge of incident command and we provide meals.”

Maandag said that the closest vehicles are called in first and then volunteers drive them down and work out of them.

“When we came up here, we were briefly shown the vehicle. So once the fires started, we knew that there was a good possibility that the vehicle may be called on so part of our job was to get it ready to go.”

They initially make sure the truck has essentials like coffee and tea and some food. The majority of the food is bought closer to reaching the destination.

The Fort St. John Salvation Army received the call yesterday that they would be needed in Williams Lake. The vehicle was officially sent out this morning. Although the evacuation order was lifted Thursday afternoon, district officials were warning residents returning home that food and other items may be hard to come by for the next while.

“They called us this morning to make sure it was coming down.”

The vehicle can feed between 200 and 300 people per meal. Maandag says the truck mainly serves comfort food like spaghetti, pirogies with sausage and bacon and other meals.

“It really becomes the hub of where people gather and it really becomes a community around that truck. It is the one thing that people don’t need to worry about. They’re worrying about their pets, they’re working about their houses, their belongings, they don’t have to worry about where the next meal is coming from.”

The driver of the vehicle that left Fort St. John on Thursday is a volunteer from Dawson Creek. Maandag says the new officers of the Fort St. John branch Nelson and Deris Fillier will be arriving in Fort St. John in August.

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