14:35 PM

Conn. Wing Helping Distribute Food During Pandemic

Capt. Olga Simoncelli
Public Affairs Officer
Connecticut Wing

The Connecticut Wing is transporting and delivering food to needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members are assisting the Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, which is distributing fresh produce donated by a farm in nearby Roxbury. Some food provisions are supplied by local residents, but most are trucked in twice a month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from other donation sites.

"We are very pleased to support the church and its mission in delivering their 'Blessing Boxes' to those in need in the community,” said Col. James A. Ridley Sr., Connecticut Wing commander.

The mission is planned to continue throughout the summer months and involves multiple tasks several times a week. 

For example, every Monday the volunteer crews are tasked with picking up the produce in Roxbury to be delivered to the Walnut Hill church for sorting and storage until it’s ready for distribution. As a special gesture, if time permits, the wing was asked to use its vans to deliver as much popcorn as possible to the YMCA in Brookfield for day campers there to enjoy. 

Tuesdays are designated for picking up food at the church for deliveries to homes in the Newtown and Bethel communities. Thursdays involve a similar drill, with food boxes going to Brookfield and Danbury residents. 

In addition, twice a month volunteers assist with unloading a USDA tractor trailer that arrives in Bethel filled with 1,500 boxes of donated provisions. 

As a Total Force partner and the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically. With this mission members are working as an Air Force component in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity.