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Airmen support food drive to help those in need

Members of the 821st Contingency Response Group pose for a photo April 24, 2020, in front of boxes of nonperishable food at The Leaven after-school program building in Vacaville, California. Over the two week-long food drive, the Airmen collected more 80 boxes of items such as canned fruit, vegetables and proteins; grains and cereals; snacks and juice boxes for children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

Members of the 821st Contingency Response Group pose for a photo April 24, 2020, in front of boxes of nonperishable food at The Leaven after-school program building in Vacaville, California. Over the two week-long food drive, the Airmen collected more 80 boxes of items such as canned fruit, vegetables and proteins; grains and cereals; snacks and juice boxes for children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

Tech. Sgt. Steve Rogers, 921st Contingency Response Squadron aerial porter, stacks boxes to be carried into The Leaven after-school program building in Vacaville, California, April 24, 2020. Supplies at many regional food pantries have been scarce since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

Tech. Sgt. Steve Rogers, 921st Contingency Response Squadron aerial porter, stacks boxes to be carried into The Leaven after-school program building in Vacaville, California, April 24, 2020. Supplies at many regional food pantries have been scarce since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

Staff Sgt. Joshua Root, 921st Contingency Response Squadron maintenance flight, carries in boxes of non-perishable food April 24, 2020, at The Leaven after-school program building in Vacaville, California. Members of the 621st Contingency Response Wing collected more than 1,600 pounds of food items to be disseminated to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

Staff Sgt. Joshua Root, 921st Contingency Response Squadron maintenance flight, carries in boxes of non-perishable food April 24, 2020, at The Leaven after-school program building in Vacaville, California. Members of the 621st Contingency Response Wing collected more than 1,600 pounds of food items to be disseminated to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing partnered with The Leaven, Vacaville Fire Department and local churches near Travis Air Force Base, California, to support a food drive to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Airmen volunteered to collect nonperishable items and delivered more than 1,600 pounds of food to the Mariposa Head Start Center in Vacaville, California, on April 24, after a two-week food drive. Food items collected included nonperishables such as: canned fruit, vegetables and proteins; grains and cereals; snacks and juice boxes for children.

“It’s wonderful to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Tech. Sgt. Steve Rogers, 921st Contingency Response Squadron aerial porter. “This pandemic is affecting our entire country in many different ways. In the CRW, we are always ready at a moment’s notice to answer our nation’s call and this time that call is coming from our local community.”

Many food pantries are being overrun due to the coronavirus outbreak and are finding it hard to keep up with the demand and distribution of goods. 

“We are all in this together and as military members, we are fortunate enough to be in a position to help those in our local community that need it most,” said Capt. Jonathan Farr, 921st CRS maintenance flight commander. “Our local community consistently supports us day in and day out, so this is just one of many ways for us to give back to them and hopefully help mitigate some of the hardships that our low income families are facing during these trying times.”  

Mark Lillis, The Leaven executive director and an Air Mobility Command civic leader, said he was proud to be a part of this effort in support of the local community.

“We are glad to be able to come in, and really come together as a community to help those who are having to decide right now if they are going to pay rent or buy food,” Lillis said. “This is a fantastic opportunity. The Bible says, if somebody asks you for a mile, you go for two, this is a chance for us to go an extra mile to help those who are really in need.”

Those who live off base can also donate their nonperishable goods to the Vacaville Fire Department. For more information on local drop off points, please contact Capt. Jonathan Farr.