PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A major supermarket chain and a local nonprofit wanted to do a little something extra to help local military families this holiday season.
Food Lion and its Food Lion Feeds hunger-relief initiative supported military families Wednesday by partnering with Hope For The Warriors and distributing 50 Christmas dinner bags to Norfolk-based military families and stocking the Portsmouth Fisher House food pantry with more than 800 pounds of nonperishable food items.
"We have families here that are experiencing very traumatic situations, so for them to come in, to brighten their day, they're gonna have to spend Christmas here," said Jill Thompson, General Manager of the Fisher House at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. "So for this organization to come in, to bring everything that they need, to have some sort of Christmas away from home, that's fantastic.
Hope For The Warriors continues to see an increasing number of families with young children who need assistance over long weekends and school breaks when children do not benefit from school food programs.
Food Lion and Hope For The Warriors employees filled Christmas dinner bags containing stuffing, yams, potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, green beans, dinner rolls and a Food Lion gift card to assist with the purchase of a ham or turkey.
"Food Lion is committed to serving our communities," said Director of Operations over the Chesapeake/Portsmouth area, Tom Perry. "We're so grateful for the sacrifices our military service members, veterans and their families make every day during this time of year. By partnering with Hope For The Warriors, we hope to make the holidays a little more enjoyable for local military families this season."
Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for veterans, service members and military families.
"While the holidays can be a joyful time of year for may, it can also bring anxiety and disappointment for many military families," said Robin Kelleher, co-founder and president of Hope For The Warriors. "We hope these Christmas dinner baskets can help relieve a bit of the burden for struggling military families this holiday season."
Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion has committed to donating 500 million meals by 2020.