News: Wasp participates in Feed Nova Scotia COMREL
HALIFAX, Canada – Sailors and Marines onboard amphibious assault ship USS Wasp joined Coast Guardsmen to participate in a community relations project for the Feed Nova Scotia food bank in Halifax, Canada, June 26.
Feed Nova Scotia receives food from locations all over the eastern coast of Canada, from grocery stores to farmers, and even from major corporations, and delivers them to food banks and homeless shelters all over Canada’s eastern coast. This non-profit food distribution network ensures Canadians in the region are given an alternative to keeping their families fed if hard times strike.
Such a large operation requires many volunteers, and program coordinators said the assistance of the U.S. military is certainly appreciated. The joint group of service members helped with cleaning and reorganizing storerooms, separating food donations and disposing of old food for compost purposes.
“The interaction of the military and the local community and the interaction of the military personnel amongst themselves is always a good thing to see,” said Canadian Army Capt. Rory Macdonald, chaplain. “Doing things for others is always a nice thing to see and it’s a great boost for military relations.”
The Feed Nova Scotia’s employees were happy to have the support, and pleased with the results.
“It’s wonderful to have the American military take time out of their short visit here to come and volunteer their time to help us with all of the work we do feeding the eastern coast of Canada,” said Jan Hall, the development officer for Feed Nova Scotia. “We couldn’t do what we do without all of the volunteers we have, and we were able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time.”
Wasp has participated in a wide variety of COMREL projects during previous port calls, and the Sailors agree that it’s something they enjoy and think should continue.
“I love helping people, I always have and this was just one more opportunity for me to be able to do just that,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class (SW) Chris Yarborough, electronics technician. “COMRELs are also a good way to meet new people and new cultures while spreading a good influence and showing that we have the time and that we care.”
Wasp is currently participating in the Canadian Naval Centennial and International Fleet Review Week that began on June 25 and concludes July 2. Wasp Sailors and Marines, including embarked Carrier Strike Group 2, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, and 3rd Battalion – 2nd Marines will be involved in various events during the visit meant to strengthen the relationship between Canada and its allies.