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Reserve Citizen Airmen distribute food to those in need

By Master Sgt. Kristian Carter | 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs | Sept. 26, 2019

SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Fifteen Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 433rd Airlift Wing and 960th Cyberspace Wing packaged and distributed food during three distribution events in San Antonio Sept. 19-20.

One of the events, sponsored by Soldier’s Angels, targeted military and veteran families. The others, hosted by Windcrest United Methodist Church and the Salvation Army Area Command, were open to any family in need.

The San Antonio Food Bank food provided the food at these events. Various other groups then set up distribution events.

The Airmen were connected to these events by the San Antonio Volunteer Buddies, a 7,600-member strong group of volunteers who organize and match volunteers with organizations needing assistance.

“The San Antonio Volunteer Buddies coordinates with all these volunteer organizations to bring them together to provide assistance,” said Master Sgt. Esther J. Cruz, 426th Network Warfare Squadron NCO in charge of weapons and tactics, and Cyberspace Wing Top III program outreach manager.

Cruz, who coordinated the Reservists that volunteered for these events, spoke about why she participated in this event.

“We get to give back to those who have given so much,” Cruz said. “Not only to the veterans, which were the focus of the Soldier’s Angels event, but also the Food Bank, which specifically helps those in need in the San Antonio community.”

The Windcrest distribution is a recurring event, which happens the third Thursday of every month.

“We started this about eight years ago, shortly after we had the downturn in the economy in 2008,” said Francyne Underwood, Windcrest United Methodist Church, a volunteer in charge of coordinating and distributing food. “We were inundated with people coming to the church needing food, or assistance with electricity and rent. The big need was food. We brought the San Antonio Food Bank here, and through the years, it has just continued to grow.”

Camelia Long, San Antonio Volunteer Buddies and the military sorority, Kappa Epsilon Psi Inc., was the lead for the Volunteer Buddies at the Windcrest event, shared her experience with the opportunity.

“I love helping people,” Long said. “When I grew up we had to have assistance, so this is giving back.”