KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City police officer recognized a need and stepped up to help metro families.
KCPD Officer Richard Salzman’s job is helping the west side neighborhood, but he said that job has changed since the COVID-19 crisis began.
“We knew during the pandemic that many of the houses here are low income, so food and income are very difficult during this time,” Salzman said.
One call in the midst of this crisis came from West Bluff Townhomes’ housing coordinator, who said many people in the complex didn’t have enough food.
So Salzman jumped to action.
“We wanted to make sure we alleviate just that within the next day or two to kind of help them with the food itself,” he said.
Salzman and the Westside CAN Center partnered with Harvesters and Redemptorist Center to get hundreds of people fed.
More than 500 people live in the complex’s 99 townhome units, and Salzman and other organizers served a great majority on Tuesday. They’re hoping the food donations will be a relief to the families.
“There is no description to describe the happiness that the people are feeling today. It is a huge challenge today. It is a huge need,” Westside CAN Center Executive Director Jorge Coramac said.
Organizers said since the shutdown began, social services have been in high demand, and KCPD has always been one call away.
“They’ve come back to us two, three times a week. Different patrols, different divisions have asked us, ‘Hey, can you fill this quantity.’ Fortunately we’ve been able to do so,” Redemptorist Center Assistant Director Shay Torok said.
As the economy slowly begins to recover and people return to work, many will still need help from time to time.
Salzman wants to help fill that gap, too.