Community cooks for hungry Rhein-Main flight line
April 9, 2003
The pangs of hunger sometimes heard throughout Rhein-Main Air Base are no more.
For two months, community members have been pulling their cooking skills and packaging finesse together to help feed servicemembers on and off the flight line.
Every Tuesday, since the base commissary is closed and many local eateries close early, volunteers throughout the base bring in freshly baked goods and cook up a feast.
Everything from drinks to plates heaping with chili satisfy many troops who are coming off a 12-hour day shift or going onto the next one.
Volunteers cook the meals, as well as package and deliver them to troops. Preparations can take all day and meals start being served by 5 p.m. and completed by 7 p.m.
An average of 450 meals are served. Meals are taken to contingency troops who are deployed to Rhein-Main on the flight line, as well as to security forces, the fire department and German soldiers at the gate. Also, a buffet-style meal is available at the base chapel for transiting troops.
“This is really a community event,” said Carole Piontkowsky, who has led the program. “This isn’t just the Family Support Center or the chaplains working. This is everyone on Rhein-Main. It’s volunteers from every organization, as well as some outside organizations.”
Different groups contribute to the success of the program, which received a $1,000 donation from the Ramstein Enlisted Spouses Club. Weekly help also comes from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Most recently, the Consulate Community Outreach Group in Frankfurt provided the Tuesday night meal and some members came for a visit.
Peter W. Bodde, consul general, visited the Logistics Flight in the 726th Air Mobility Squadron, with meals in hand.
Bodde said he wanted to contribute to the cause once he heard several servicemembers could not break away for meals as they supported the two war operations.
“Everybody has a job to do,” Bodde said. “It’s critical that we support the base in every way.”