Calif. Wing Assists Salvation Army Food Distribution
1st Lt. Jerry Camp
Public Affairs Officer
California Wing members supported the Salvation Army last week by distributing about 600 meal kits in San Diego County and Eastern San Diego County.
As a trained disaster preparedness relief organization, Civil Air Patrol has been reaching out to government agencies and nonprofit organizations – like the Salvation Army – to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to assembling the meal kits, California Wing members assisted in organizing and storing frozen food, unloading trucks, breaking down boxes and performing many other needed tasks.Some members of the community honked their car horns and yelled, “thank you,” as they pulled into the drive-through distribution locations to collect food.
A meal kit consists of four main parts: a bag of canned and dry good items, frozen proteins, chicken and beef, and milk and bread. The dry goods bags are assembled before distribution. As they’re refrigerated or frozen, the other items require special handling. At the distribution locations, all four components are placed in the trunk or rear of the recipient’s vehicle to maintain social distancing.
“Each meal kit can provide three to six meals,” said Lt. Col. Jessica Black, location supervisor for the mission. “Two hundred meal kits represent 1,000 to 1,200 meals for the community.”
“In times of crisis, we are measured by our ability to help those in need,” said Brig. Gen. Bryan Radliff, reserve adviser to the commander, First Air Force (AFNORTH). “We have deep appreciation for the adults volunteering their time and leadership, but more exciting is the willingness of our youngest citizens as members of Civil Air Patrol to help others. This serves as an outstanding example of our Air Force auxiliary providing compassionate support to our neighbors in need.”
Col. Ross Veta, California Wing commander, visited the meal assembly station in El Cajon to personally thank the volunteers. “Because of the work you are doing here, people won’t go hungry,” he told them. “It isn’t often you get to directly impact someone’s life in this way … you will remember serving your community during this crisis for the rest of your life.”