More than a Chance Encounter

One of The Salvation Army's mobile canteen units prepares to serve those in need of help.

“We were driving around looking for a group that needed food. We had cooked 120 hamburgers at supper and they didn’t all get eaten,” said Lt. Bush, corps officer from The Salvation Army of Winston-Salem. “We packed them up to serve somewhere else - we knew we could feed someone, we just didn’t know who.”

When the Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding kitchen) from Winston-Salem rolled into a gas station in Charleston to fuel up, a police officer walked over and asked Salvation Army officer Karl Bush if they were somewhere to feed people. Bush asked the officer if he knew of someone who needed a meal. “Yes, me,” was the response.

The police officer had not eaten since he himself had begun his 14 hour shift earlier that day. His concern for the safety of the public during Hurricane Matthew was a bigger priority to him than his own needs. Now, he was hungry, tired and looking for food. All restaurants in the town were closed and his day wasn’t finished yet. He had stopped for gas just as The Salvation Army was pulling in.

Lt. Bush told the officer that there was plenty and to call any of his fellow officers so they could eat. The officer put a call out on the radio to the other units in the area and in no time, police officers were at the gas station, eating burgers at the pop-up restaurant on wheels.

“We ran out of buns and served the burgers on bread, didn’t have any cheese, but the officers were so grateful for the food. Man! We were just grateful for their service and dedication to the public. Feeding them was the least we could do - it was humbling,” added Bush.

By the time the feeding was over, 30 police officers had eaten. There were just enough hamburgers to feed the crew.

“Exactly what they needed is exactly what we had. God goes well before us,” Bush said.

The Salvation Army continues to serve in response to Hurricane Matthew. We serve wherever and whenever we are needed. Thanks for your continued support as we serve our neighbors with compassion throughout the Carolinas.

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