DES MOINES, Iowa — The Salvation Army sends out its mobile food canteen three mornings a week to provide hot meals to those in need across Des Moines.

The food canteen started as a way to provide disaster or emergency relief and since then has been used to provide free meals to people who are food insecure.

The canteen has different routes for different days. On Fridays, it starts at the Salvation Army on 6th Avenue, then moves to the Central Iowa Shelter and Services parking lot, and finally to 5th and Grand Avenue.

Major Butch Frost, the Iowa Capital Area Coordinator for the Salvation Army, said that it has plans to expand the mobile food canteen service to five days a week to meet the increase in demand due to food insecurity.

“We have one staff member that oversees the unit and keeps things going, but we depend wholeheartedly on volunteers to participate,” Frost said, ” We depend on volunteers to prepare the egg casseroles.”

Jim Civitate is the staff member that runs the mobile food canteen. Civitate said that after his normal morning stops he searches for people in need to give food to.

“We are going and we are finding people that are maybe living in a parking lot in their cars. We’ve been going out down by the river and in the woods and we also try to find people who are living around the railroad,” Civitate said.

To learn more about how you can help support people who are food insecure or get involved with the mobile food canteen, visit the Salvation Army’s website.