Sailors from future USS Tripoli (LHA 7) Pre-Commissioning Detachment (PCD) assisted the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Oct. 27, in support of their local community’s food donation program.
PCD Tripoli Sailors spent three hours sorting and packaging donated food that will be sent to many local non-profit organizations which include senior centers, low-income daycares, and churches, for distribution to those in need. In addition to sending food to non-profit organizations, the food bank also directly distributes food to individuals who need it most.
“I chose the Food Bank, because I knew this would impact the community more due to the large number of homeless and less fortunate citizens in the area,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Nathaniel Pennywell from Forestville, Maryland. “I set this event up to help out the community and bring the crew together in a different atmosphere.”
In coordination with Chief Electronics Technician Zachary Miller, PCD Tripoli’s Community Relations coordinator in San Diego, Pennywell reached out to Sailors at the command asking for their support and time. Pennywell said that once he had gathered enough people, he contacted the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank to find a date and time that would be most beneficial to them.
“This is not the first time I have volunteered at the Food Bank, but it is the first time I did it with the command,” said Hospitalman Apprentice Joely Alvarado. “We all worked together during the time we were here and got a lot done.”
During the event, the group of thirteen Sailors from PCD Tripoli and a separate group of civilian volunteers bagged and sorted 15,500 pounds of apples and pears inside the warehouse. The food is estimated to help feed approximately 400,000 people and was scheduled for immediate distribution the following day to the San Diego area.
"This is my first time at the food bank. It makes me feel good to know I am helping those less fortunate,” said Yeoman 2nd Class William R. Wallace. “I learned that if we all pitch in to help we can make a difference.”
Unlike other community food drives, the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank provides year round food services to the San Diego area and relies on continuous volunteer support to distribute foos to the people the organization seeks to help.
The USS Tripoli is an America-class amphibious assault ship that is currently under construction in Pascagoula, Mississippi. When completed, the ship will be manned with approximately 65 officers, 994 enlisted, and 1,687 Maines.