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NSA Naples Religious Ministries Donate Food to Local Community

May 1, 2020 | BY NAVY PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS DONOVAN K. PATUBO

The religious ministries department at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, secured the donation of three pallets of food and nonperishable items for the local Italian community.

The donation is part of a new program led by the religious ministries department that helps to provide the most basic of necessities to families in need.

A sailor in uniform and wearing a face mask loads a box into the back of a van.
Ministry Work
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bethany Caldwell, a religious programs specialist assigned to the religious ministries department at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, loads a van with food to be donated to the local Italian community, April 24, 2020. The donation is part of a new program led by the NSA Naples religious ministries department that helps to provide basic necessities to families in need.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Donavan K. Patubo
VIRIN: 200424-N-HP061-1022

''This is a new program and already starting strong,'' said Navy Chaplain (Cmdr.) Gary Foshee, NSA Naples command chaplain. ''Last week, two carloads of food were sent off to two separate organizations in town.''

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has left citizens of Italy feeling the financial strain of a nationwide lockdown. This is especially true for those who were already struggling to put food on the table, the chaplain noted. These donations help reduce the strain that many families are feeling by ensuring that those in need don't have to go without, he said.

Two sailors in uniform, both wearing face masks, load boxes into a van.
Packing Up
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bethany Caldwell, a religious programs specialist assigned to the religious ministries department at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, loads a van with food to be donated to the local Italian community, April 24, 2020. The donation is part of a new program led by the NSA Naples religious ministries department that helps to provide basic necessities to families in need.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Donavan K. Patubo
VIRIN: 200424-N-HP061-1074

''There are many local families who have been affected by the virus who are struggling to purchase meals to feed their family,'' Foshee said. ''The chapel wanted to help members from the local community and show them that U.S. military personnel care about the local community and are thankful for all the help the community has provided us throughout the years.''

The most recent donation will be delivered to the Youth Catholic Association, an organization that assists about 600 families in downtown Naples who are in need. While the donation comes at a time when families may need it more than ever, it is not the first time the organization has felt the generosity of the NSA Naples community.

A man wearing a face mask prepares to load boxes into the open back of a van behind him. The van already contains several boxes.
Food Donation
Boccolino Stanislao, a local national commissary employee at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, loads a van with food to be donated to the local Italian community, April 24, 2020. The donation is part of a new program led by the NSA Naples religious ministries department that helps to provide basic necessities to families in need.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Donavan K. Patubo
VIRIN: 200424-N-HP061-1080

''This is the umpteenth display of affection from the U.S. military for our children and their families,'' said Gianfranco Wurzburger, president of the Youth Catholic Association. ''It is a demonstration of great solidarity to see the union between people, especially during this time for the city of Naples and the whole world.''

The religious ministries team is actively involved with the local community to ensure the donated items are sent out to people in need, and has already received thank you letters from local charities for helping them during this world crisis.

Foshee said this program will become a weekly procedure for the religious ministries team, and they look forward to new friendships and lasting relationships with partner forces and local community members.

Sailors in uniform, all wearing face masks, load boxes into a van.
Naples Religious Ministry
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nico Villanueva, right, and Navy Seaman Delias Mares, both assigned to the security department at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, load a van with food to be donated to the local Italian community, April 24, 2020. The donation is part of a new program led by the NSA Naples religious ministries department that helps to provide basic necessities to families in need.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Donavan K. Patubo
VIRIN: 200424-N-HP061-1093

''There is always a person, a family, or a community in need of assistance,'' he said. ''It especially applies during the pandemic we are all facing currently. If a difference can be made, the religious ministries [program] is here to help. Our mission as a religious ministries team is to support not only our military personnel, but the local community as well.''

NSA Naples is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner-nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.

(Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Donovan K. Patubo is assigned to U.S. Naval Support Activity Naples.)