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INWG volunteers assist statewide food distribution to those in need.

April 21, 20202d Lt Michael Harber (left), C/1st Lt Tom Huynh (back), and C/SSgt Gaven Gibson (back) packaging meals
Indiana Wing Civil Air Patrol volunteers continue to assist statewide food distribution.

INDIANAPOLIS – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Civil Air Patrol’s Indiana Wing, acting as the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, has activated approximately seventy members to assist with various food distribution within the State of Indiana.

Civil Air Patrol members participated in one mission which was led by the Marion Community School System in Marion, Indiana. The central Indiana school system initiated a weekly grab-and-go food program on March 18th. As part of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, the Marion Community School is distributing a week’s worth of food (two meals per day for five days) to Marion children on Wednesdays.

According to Marion Community School System’s Director of Communications, Patricia Gibson, this program provides, “food for any child age eighteen or younger living in the city of Marion. They do not have to be an enrolled student at Marion Community Schools”. On average, the school system has distributed 30,000 to 35,000 meals each Wednesday.

Maj. Mendie Hornbuckle, Indiana Group III Commander who participated on April 15th, said, “Indiana Wing Civil Air Patrol volunteers are here for the community. Getting food to those in need serves a vital role we are happy to perform.”

A second mission occurred on Friday, April 17th, 2020 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis assisting the Salvation Army, the Midwest Food Bank, and the Indiana National Guard. Members of the Indiana Wing Civil Air Patrol packed and prepared food for Hoosier families in need.

The Salvation Army and Civil Air Patrol have a history of cooperation and dedication to community service. During the pandemic, Civil Air Patrol is assisting The Salvation Army with their food distribution efforts because government mandated closures, stay-at-home orders, and supply chain issues are causing high demand on food pantries.

The Salvation Army’s Director of Communications, Samantha Hyde, said, “Many Hoosier families are facing hunger for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. By teaming up with other non-profits like Midwest Food Bank and Million Meals Movement, The Salvation Army can get much-needed food to the communities quickly and cost-effectively. Our statewide network of community centers and food pantries are already doing all they can to meet local needs, but these food boxes will be a huge boon to their efforts”.

Indiana Wing Civil Air Patrol expects additional activations to continue including southern and northern Indiana. Acting 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 to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance through missions like these in Indiana.

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