SALISBURY, Md. – The Maryland National Guard began a multi-week mission preparing and delivering meals to an emergency encampment for the homeless population who have been displaced due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Five Soldiers from the 115th Military Police Battalion, Maryland Army National Guard, will cook and transport more than two dozen dinners daily to Lake Street Park in Salisbury, Maryland, through mid-May.
“I can’t say enough about my guys and their dedication to what they put forth today.” said 1st Sgt. John Clayton, acting sergeant major of the 115th Military Police Battalion. “We are going to be out here for 25 days bringing dinner chow so they have something hot to eat each night.”
The mission brought together Soldiers from three different military police units a part of the 115th MP Bn. In the kitchen of the Blair Crockett Armory in Salisbury, an assembly line process was used to add the food to the carry-out containers heading to the residents at the encampment, which has been affectionately renamed, Camp Hope.
“Having the National Guard help us feed the [citizens] that are experiencing homelessness is a huge blessing,” said Christine Chestnutt, the housing and homelessness manager for the City of Salisbury. “It is incredible and makes my heart happy.”
Camp Hope is one of seven Maryland National Guard operations assisting with food distribution across the state. More than 2,000 MDNG soldiers and airmen are activated to support Maryland’s response to COVID-19 utilizing capabilities such as medical augmentation, transportation support, and more.