BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Salvation Army has launched a program to bring 10,000 meals to the doorsteps of physically- or medically-homebound seniors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The program is a collaboration between the Salvation Army, the Ravens, the Orioles, Rouge Catering and dozens of volunteers.

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Monday morning, those volunteers unloaded boxed cold lunches and microwaveable meals from a large Rouge Catering truck. They were then loaded into limousines from RMA Limo, the company that operates the Charm City Circulator.

The suited drivers will carry the volunteers to the homes of vulnerable seniors living in one of the city’s 145 senior living facilities and residential housing units.

“I’ve heard stories where people are eating cereal and mac-and-cheese, so we’re providing them a wholesome healthy meal,” Celeste Bendetti from Rouge Catering said.


Every precaution is being taken in this enormous undertaking to protect the health of the volunteers, the drivers and the seniors. Meal recipients won’t be invited outside to collect the meals and volunteers won’t go door-to-door.

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“The department of aging said, ‘We have this tremendous need. We can’t fill it.’ And the Salvation Army, as it does, said we can step in and help,” Major Gene Hogg, the commander of the Salvation Army of Maryland, said.

The Maryland Department of Transporation also got on board and the Orioles and Ravens sent out emails asking for volunteers.

On the program’s first day, organizers and volunteers were able to distribute 7,000 meals. In the coming weeks, they hope to reach 10,000 lunches and dinners prepared seven days per week to homebound, often isolated, sometimes lonely seniors.

“Being able to partner with these types of agencies and being able to reach them with this type of hope is pretty incredible for us, and we just thank God that we’re able to do it,” Hogg said.

The Salvation Army is prepared to provide the meals daily through August. Vulnerable seniors in need can call them at 410-396-2273 or visit

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.