HomeNewsArticle Display

340th FTG volunteers help make a Million Summer Meals for Kids

340th FTG supports SA Food Bank

Col. Allen Duckworth (left), 340th Flying Training Group commander, and his team gather in the San Antonio Food Bank volunteer room July 12, in preparation for their morning in the community kitchen. Group members and other volunteers made nearly a thousand lunches and filled hundreds of baking trays with chicken strips, to help ensure food insecure kids in the multi-county region would have a meal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Debbie Gildea)

340th FTG supports SA Food Bank

Lt. Col. Samuel Moore (blue shirt) and Tech. Sgt. Christian Delgado, from the 340th Flying Training Group headquarters, help prepare sandwiches for nearly 1,000 lunches that will be provided to food insecure children in the San Antonio multi-county region. Group members volunteered July 12 to support the San Antonio Food Bank’s Million Summer Meals for Kids campaign focused on bridging the gap during the summer months, when many kids may not have regular access to food. (U.S. Air Force photo by Debbie Gildea)

340th helps SA Food Bank feed kids

Col. Allen Duckworth, 340th Flying Training Group commander, prepares and packages sandwiches for nearly 1,000 lunches during the group’s July 12 volunteer day at the San Antonio Food Bank. Group volunteers joined others from the community to prepare the sack lunches, as well as hundreds of trays of chicken strips, for food insecure kids in the multi-county region as part of the food bank’s Million Summer Meals for Kids campaign. (U.S. Air Force photo by Debbie Gildea)

340th FTG supports SA Food Bank

Volunteers from the 340th Flying Training Group prepare the baking sheets and assembly line area where they will prepare hundreds of pounds of chicken strips for the oven as part of their July 12 volunteer day with the San Antonio Food Bank in support of the food bank’s Million Summer Meals for Kids campaign. Food insecure kids are in greater danger of going hungry during the summer months, when they do not have access to school lunch and meals programs. Pictured on the right is Anthoney Smith, and on the left, front to back, are Master Sgt. Angelina Manby, Senior Master Sgt. Kwame Tawiah and Tech. Sgt. Julia Tovar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Debbie Gildea)

340th FTG supports SA Food Bank

San Antonio Food Bank July 12 volunteers from the 340th Flying Training Group pose for a photo before heading back to their base. Pictured, left to right, are Debbie Gildea, Col. Allen Duckworth, Master Sgt. Angelina Manby, Senior Master Sgt. Kwame Tawiah, Tech. Sgt. Christian Delgado, Tech. Sgt. Julia Tovar, Lt. Col. Samuel Moore and Anthoney Smith. (Courtesy photo)

JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas – Volunteers from the 340th Flying Training Group joined the San Antonio Food Bank’s effort to wipe out hunger when they participated in the Million Summer Meals for Kids campaign currently underway.

For many food insecure children, meals provided in school during the school year are the only meals some kids will get, and summer is a dangerous time for those kids.

“Children should not be hungry and they should not have to worry or fear where their next meal is coming from,” said 340th FTG Commander Col. Allen Duckworth. “The few hours our team volunteered, with volunteers from other local organizations, represented tens of thousands of meals for kids in need, which is incredible. Time committed to this effort is truly time well spent!”

Duckworth and two members of the team joined volunteers from a local department store chain to prepare nearly a thousand bagged lunches which would be packed and delivered to various locations in the multi-county support area.

The remaining group volunteers prepared hundreds of trays of chicken strips for the oven, and cleaned and sterilized equipment and racks in preparation for the next round of meal preparation.

For Reserve Citizen Airmen, this is more than a community outreach project.

“For most of my team, this area is home, and since we don’t move around like active duty, we are able to develop long-term relationships with our neighbors, and are able to commit time and energy to support critical programs, like the food bank,” he explained, adding “We are honored to be allowed to play a role in taking care of our community kids.”

One group volunteer supported the food bank activity with the same purpose and focus he brings to his daily mission in financial management.

“I believe in always helping others, no matter what,” said Anthoney Smith, 340th FTG travel lead.

It’s a perspective his teammates share.

According to one group volunteer, it was a fulfilling, but sobering activity.

“This is an issue that is very close to my heart,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kwame Tawiah, group logistics plans superintendent.

For Tawiah, who also volunteers at a local animal shelter, this was his second visit to the food bank, but won’t be his last.

“I’m lucky that I never had to think about when - or if - I’d be able to eat again, and to know that one out of four kids will go hungry today is heartbreaking. If I can help in some small way, then maybe we can all help and change the future for these kids,” he said.

Group volunteers sign up quarterly to help sort and box food, work in the community kitchen or lend a hand wherever there is a need.

Tawiah helped sort and box food his first visit, and helped prepare meals in the community kitchen for his most recent visit.

“I had fun during both events - you know, they’re all for the same cause, and we get to do something valuable while enjoying time together. The first time, we got to meet a lot of people from around the city, which was interesting, as well. Whatever we do to support the food bank, I’ll be there,” he said.

The next 340th FTG food bank volunteer day will be in October.