Feeding the force

HONOLULU, HI, UNITED STATES

10.26.2020

Story by 2nd Lt. Amber Kelly-Herard 

15th Wing Public Affairs 

The current COVID-19 policy for military members coming from out of state requires a 14-day restriction of movement.

To continue to care for Airmen, JBPHH Airmen came together to provide necessities for those on ROM.

“We provide that essential service to those members who may not have someone who they can call,” said Staff Sgt. Arlinda Haliti, 647th Force Support Squadron First Term Airmen Center instructor. “Many people are new to the base and the island and we wanted to fill that gap for those members who do not have a support system in place yet.”

In May, the Hickam 5/6 Council created JBPHH Store to Door, a grocery delivery service for military members stationed here that relies on volunteers to shop and deliver groceries to those who are on ROM or in quarantine.

Volunteers meet at the commissary on base and can be a shopper or a driver and are assigned a customer. Volunteers are able to text or call the customer with any questions about the items requested and also have the customer pay over the phone at checkout. Once the shopping is done, groceries are delivered without any physical contact.

Thus far, more than 700 volunteers delivered more than $90,000 worth of groceries to around 1,100 families.

“I don’t think that any of us anticipated the scale this project has grown to,” said Arlinda. “It’s been amazing seeing the thanks and support we’ve received from those we serve.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic will thankfully not last forever, JBPHH Store to Door does not plan to stop.

“We want to keep the program running,” said Tech. Sgt. Amber Wheeler, 647th Air Base Group Equal opportunity Office non-commissioned officer in charge. “There are a lot of families who need this service for a lot of reasons, such as having a deployed spouse.”

The JBPHH Store to Door operates every Monday and Friday from 4-7 p.m.

“We never know when we are going to be on the receiving end of a service like this or when we may need that help,” said Wheeler. “If we can provide that help and assistance right now, then we should be.”

The food service does have some restrictions such as not purchasing alcohol, tobacco products, or medications for its customers.

To find out more about JBPHH Store to Door, volunteer, or use their service, email jbphhstoretodoor@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page, JBPHH Store to Door.

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