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Groceries for the holidays; taking care of JBLE families

An event volunteer pushes a participant’s grocery cart during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019.

An event volunteer pushes a participant’s grocery cart during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019. The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and the Food Lion Feeds organization provided groceries to more than 960 JBLE community members, which included meat products, fresh vegetables, baby formula, fruit, bread, pasta and canned goods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Monica Roybal)

A U.S. Army Soldier browses grocery item options during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019.

A U.S. Army Soldier browses grocery item options during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019. Local organizations provided free groceries to JBLE military members and family members to show support for service members and contribute to families during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Monica Roybal)

Event volunteers distribute groceries to participants during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019

Event volunteers distribute groceries to participants during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019. Newport News Public Schools partnered with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and the Food Lion Feeds organization to provide free groceries to more than 960 JBLE community members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Monica Roybal)

Andrew Council, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank product manager, and U.S. Army Pfc. Daniel Smith, 331st Transportation Company, 11th Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade allied trade specialist, put groceries in a cart during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019.

Andrew Council, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank product manager, and U.S. Army Pfc. Daniel Smith, 331st Transportation Company, 11th Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade allied trade specialist, put groceries in a cart during a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019. Newport News Public Schools partnered with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and the Food Lion Feeds organization to provide free groceries to JBLE military members and family members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Monica Roybal)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

Newport News Public Schools partnered with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and the Food Lion Feeds organization to host a holiday food distribution at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2019. 

The organizations supported JBLE military members and their families by providing free groceries to them during the holiday season. 

“We’re coming up on the winter break where kids will be home for two weeks and, let’s face it, a lot of our families are dependent upon the breakfast and lunch that the children receive at school,” said Amelia Hunt, General Stanford Elementary School principal. “So if this helps to bridge that gap a little bit, then we are all for it.”

The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and the Food Lion Feeds organization provided groceries to more than 960 JBLE community members, which included meat products, fresh vegetables, baby formula, fruit, bread, pasta and canned goods.

U.S. Army Pfc. Daniel Smith, 331st Transportation Company, 11th Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade allied trade specialist, attended the event with his wife, Mya Smith, and their child. 

“It feels great to know that the community cares about [service members],” Smith said. “It means a lot that they’re out here giving military members food. We got excellent quality groceries and I really liked that they gave us baby formula, especially since we have a 7-week-old baby.”

Event organizers conducted a back-to-school food distribution in August of this year, Hunt explained. She said participants gave such positive feedback that the organizations decided to host a second distribution for the holiday season. 

The holiday distribution more than doubled the first distribution, which aided more than 400 JBLE families, Hunt added.

“I hope the JBLE service members see that we appreciate the sacrifices they make,” Hunt said. “I would like to think that an event like this sends the message that the Virginia peninsula area is a community that cares about our service members. There are so many great things the military brings to the area, I think this was just a small way the community could give back to our service members who give so much.”