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Civil Air Patrol assists Second Helpings with Hunger Fight in Indianapolis

Civil Air Patrol assists Second Helpings with Hunger Fight in Indianapolis

1st Lt Andreas Weber prepares a meal at Second Helpings in Indianapolis.
1st Lt Andreas Weber prepares a meal at Second Helpings in Indianapolis.
Lt Col Jamie Griffith (foreground) and 1st Lt Andreas Weber prepare meals at Second Helpings in Indianapolis.
Lt Col Jamie Griffith (foreground) and 1st Lt Andreas Weber prepare meals at Second Helpings in Indianapolis.
Lt Col Tom Elam, Lt Col Jamie Griffith, and 1st Lt Andreas Weber volunteer at Second Helpings in Indianapolis.
Lt Col Tom Elam, Lt Col Jamie Griffith, and 1st Lt Andreas Weber volunteer at Second Helpings in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS – Members of Civil Air Patrol’s Indiana Wing, acting as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, are performing a new role in helping fight hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wing members have been volunteering at Second Helpings in Indianapolis since April.

For more than 20 years, Second Helpings has been addressing hunger and poverty in Central Indiana, with volunteers and staff retrieving prepared and perishable food from wholesalers, retailers and restaurants to prevent unnecessary waste. That food is used to create more than 4,500 hot, nutritious meals distributed daily to more than 90 social service agencies that feed Hoosiers in need.

Indiana Wing members are assisting with preparation and packing of meals that are then delivered to area residents.

“In April, Civil Air Patrol members packed 7,948 nutritious meals,” said Nora Spitznogle, Second Helpings senior director of programs.

The Indiana Wing partnership began as Second Helpings “quickly adapted our regular meal distribution process to meet the growing demands of the community amidst the pandemic – almost overnight,” Spitznogle said. “We began partnerships with satellite kitchens in the city to increase production, as well as began a partnership for home delivery so that all our neighbors in need could have nutritious meals.”

Wing members are engaged with hunger relief organizations throughout Indiana from Gary, Terre Haute, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, supporting distribution for food banks, pantries and kitchens – a role expected to continue through May.

Under normal circumstances, Indiana Wing members would be training for search and rescue, preparing for an upcoming cadet summer encampment or assisting with Civil Air Patrol’s National Emergency Services Academy at Camp Atterbury in central Indiana. The pandemic has disrupted those activities.

As a Total Force partner and official civilian auxiliary of the Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity. During the pandemic, First Air Force has tasked the Indiana Wing to support the Indiana Department of Homeland Security with food assistance.

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