Bilingual church, mobile kitchen team to serve Cardinal Valley

After going two days without electricity, Maria Cuy got a much-needed hot meal Thursday thanks to the Salvation Army and the city.

Cuy and her family, who live in Garden Springs, had been eating food heated up on a little gas stove. When they heard that a free meal and blankets were available, they headed for the Cardinal Crossings Apartments on Village Drive.

Unfortunately all of the blankets were gone by the time the Cuys arrived, but they did get a hot meal.

"It's really cool, nice and sweet for people to worry about us and the people in this community," Cuy said.

The Salvation Army took its emergency mobile kitchen to Cardinal Valley at the request of city officials, said Maj. Debra Ashcraft with the Salvation Army.

In Cardinal Valley, the city called Charles Knox, pastor of Iglesia Nueva Vida, early Thursday afternoon for a location to serve the meals and to spread the word that food would be available.

Knox and members of his congregation quickly put up signs throughout the neighborhood and passed the information on to Radio Vida, a local Spanish-language station.

Just a few hours later, the Salvation Army served 67 people at Cardinal Crossing.

Araceli Esparza and her family were grocery shopping when they saw the sign about the free meals. Esparza lost power at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Water was turned off to the entire complex that night when pipes burst in four apartments.

Esparza said she might be back Friday night when the Salvation Army returns to provide more hot meals.

"They're really good people and we're very grateful for what they're doing for us," Esparza said through a translator.