Operation Homefront Kicks Off Holiday Meals for Military Events

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Operation Homefront and Walmart are working together to distribute holiday meals to military families in 2015 through the national nonprofit’s annual Holiday Meals for Military program.

Operation Homefront and Walmart are working together to distribute holiday meals to military families in 2015 through the national nonprofit’s annual Holiday Meals for Military program. This year, holiday meals will be distributed at 25 events that will take place across the nation from Dec. 5 through Dec. 18. Walmart is contributing in-kind donations worth $215,000. Additionally, Walmart transportation and logistics will help deliver the food and materials and Walmart associates in select locations nationwide will help to package holiday meal kits.

The Holiday Meals for Military program began Thanksgiving 2009 as the result of a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife, and infant had a handful of grocery items they could not afford, so a Beam Inc. employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. Since that time, the program has grown from initially providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing 8,500 this holiday season. Beam Inc. continues to be a major supporter of the program.

The 8,500 meal kits, which are designed to include all the grocery items necessary for a full holiday meal, will be distributed to lower and mid-grade ranking military families, E-1 thru E-6, at 25 locations nationwide in December 2015, including Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; Scott Air Force Base, Ill.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and Joint Base Andrews, Md.

“The families of our service members are dealing with numerous challenges, many of which are financial in nature, that strain even the most frugal household budget,” said Brig Gen (ret) said John I. Pray, Jr., president & CEO of Operation Homefront. “Reducing this strain is at the core of our mission to build strong, stable and secure military families. Providing a holiday meal for these amazing people is just one way in which Operation Homefront and our incredible individual and corporate sponsors, like Walmart, thank them for their service to our nation and help them do more than just get by, but actually thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.”

"Once again, we’re proud to work with Operation Homefront to bring holiday meals to military families across the country," said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer of Walmart and president of Walmart Foundation. "Our support of military families this holiday season is part of our long-standing commitment to support men and women in uniform. We are also committed to hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020, recently hiring our 100,000th veteran. Whether providing jobs or meals, it is our privilege to continue working with partners across multiple sectors to support our nation’s veterans, military and their families.”

Distributing these meals is an important undertaking that will be carried out in military communities and at local Operation Homefront field offices across the nation. For more information on how to volunteer or donate to the cause, please log on to http://www.HolidayMealsForMilitary.org.

In addition to Walmart and Beam-Suntory, major sponsors for the program include CDW, Thirty-One Gifts, Navy Federal Credit Union, Ocean Spray, and Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores.

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About Operation Homefront: A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to http://www.OperationHomefront.net.

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