The Holiday Meals for Military program began Thanksgiving 2009 as a result of a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, New York near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife, and infant had a handful of grocery items they could not afford, so a Beam Global employee paid the $12 for their groceries.
In the span between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2009, this program was born. Charter sponsers - Beam Global, Patrick Henry Creative Promotions, Southern Wine and Spirits, Marketcam and Glazer's Distributing came together at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas to distribute 500 holiday meal kits to military families. The holiday meal kits included everything needed for a holiday dinner, including a turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, vegetables, plus additional food for a holiday breakfast.
In December of 2010, the Holiday Meals for Military Program grew to three bases -- Fort Hood (TX), Fort Campbell (KY) and Great Lakes Naval Base (IL) where 30 companies contributed to doubling the distribution to 1000 meals. Walmart went above and beyond the call of duty with food donations, labor donations and one special effort in Kentucky. On that day, there were still 150 people in line after all the meals were distributed. Walmart's regional manager sent his staff back to a local Walmart store where they packed another 150 meals, so that every person in line had a meal to take home.
Last year, we were able to give 5,000 meals to deserving military families at 17 locations.
This year our goal is to distribute 7500 meals in 22 locations around the country.
Since the beginning (2009) of Holiday Meals for Military our donations, distributions, and sponsors have almost doubled each year. With the help of sponsors and donations our goal is to continue growing each year until every military family can enjoy a holiday meal that they deserve.