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Local military and veteran families benefit from Project Military Hunger Relief

Volunteers along with local community members assemble boxes of food and personal care items.

Volunteers along with local community members assemble boxes of food and personal care items to be distributed to 400 local veterans, active-duty military members and their families Oct. 2, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes teamed up with the Utah Chapter of Blue Star Families, Feed the Children and other like-minded organizations to make the event possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Volunteers along with local community members assemble boxes of food and personal care items.

Volunteers along with local community members assemble boxes of food and personal care items to be distributed to 400 local veterans, active-duty military members and their families Oct. 2, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes teamed up with the Utah Chapter of Blue Star Families, Feed the Children and other like-minded organizations to make the event possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Volunteers along with local community members assemble boxes of food and personal care items.

Volunteers along with local community members assemble boxes of food and personal care items to be distributed to 400 local veterans, active-duty military members and their families Oct. 2, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes teamed up with the Utah Chapter of Blue Star Families, Feed the Children and other like-minded organizations to make the event possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Hill Air Force Base volunteers and local community members recently assembled a week’s worth of complimentary packaged food and personal care items for more than 300 local veterans, active-duty military members and their families.

The Utah Chapter of Blue Star Families teamed with the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, Feed the Children and other organizations to provide the most recent Project Military Hunger Relief.

A full semi-truck delivered more than 16,000 pounds of goods on 25 pallets to the distribution point on base. There, volunteers built up the boxes with canned goods including tomatoes beans and vegetables, pasta, candy, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste and cosmetics. There were also blankets, shoes, assorted clothing and baby items. Not every box was exactly the same, but they were very close.

“It’s a community effort from across the installation,” said Emily Harrison, Blue Star Families of Utah chapter director. “We had service members from various units throughout the installation helping, along with military spouses from the Hill spouses club and volunteers from throughout the community.”

Each family got a hands-free video calling device that connects to Facebook messenger that allows military members to stay connected with friends and family.

“Our military is often not near their home of record where, their family is from,” Harrison said. “These devices (can help) them to stay connected.”
Because of the pandemic, distributing the boxes was an efficient a drive-up event, making it as contact-free as possible.

“We had two drive-through lanes set up where participants pulled up and the goods were put in the back of their vehicle,” Harrison said. “Many families come through and thanked us profusely and talked about how it was a blessing for them.”

Retired Army sergeant Mary Herrera, Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes national spokesperson said it was an honor to assist military families especially during these difficult times.

“We all know 2020 has been a pretty awful year for most people, and for our (military families) and veterans especially,” she said. “We’re proud to team with these other outstanding groups to serve the brave men and women who defend our nation.

Hill’s Airman's Attic food pantry was also assisted by Project Military Hunger Relief with two pallets of canned goods, pasta and macaroni and cheese to help fill their shelves.

Harrison said it’s very fulfilling to bring a special event like this to military families and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support she received from Hill Air Force Base leaders and volunteers.

Military and veterans family members over age 18 can take the 2020 annual military family lifestyle survey at bluestarfam.us/BSFSurvey20UT.