The Naval Submarine Base in New London has collected items for local families for the last 20 years and on Tuesday, that tradition continued.
For the last several weeks, people have been donating food and funds to the caring and sharing program that arranges for full Thanksgiving meals to be delivered to military families in the area that have indicated a need for assistance.
"Our benefit this year actual extended to the Coast Guard men and the United States Army members soldiers as well," said Ru Li of the U.S. Navy. "So, it's really a wonderful program to help the whole branch of the service members in this area."
Various groups conduct food donation drives, often at the on base commissary, to collect all the items needed to round out a Thanksgiving meal. And on Tuesday, those supplies were sent out.
"Last year, we were just over 400 between Christmas and Thanksgiving and we're hoping to surpass that number this year," said Jason Perry of the U.S. Navy.
When everybody is squared away for both Christmas and Thanksgiving, anything that is left over here is donated to a local food bank.
"This cuts across all the branches of the service and everybody here on team New London everybody," said Wes Koshoffer of the U.S. Navy. "And as I said a grass roots effort of sailors and soldiers for sailors and soldiers, helping each other out. It's a fantastic program."
In addition to military families, the program is also available to surviving spouses of service members, some of whom were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
"It's like Christmas. It gives me a warm feeling to know that I can help them out and it's just in these times," said Jim Ambrosia of the U.S. Navy. "And it touches me, it really does and they appreciate it ... so much."
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