Justin ReutterChillicothe Gazette
CHILLICOTHE – The Desert Knights of America MC Central Ohio Chapter will distribute over 20,000 pounds of food and milk to hungry Ross County residents on Nov. 21.
The Desert Knights are a motorcycle club for desert-era veterans, including Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
The MC plans to stage everyone receiving food in the parking lot across from Homeland Credit Union. From there, they will direct vehicles in small numbers to the rear of the credit union to ensure the operation of the bank is not affected. There will be a five box limit per vehicle. All food shelters, homeless shelters, and other large businesses are encouraged to make contact before so food can be loaded separately from the general turnout.
As this is a no-contact drive-thru, attendees are asked to stay in their vehicles unless otherwise directed to get out.
Food will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis, and plan to keep giving away boxes until they run out.
“We’re taking it on an honor system with the community that those who show up are the ones who need it, said Shawn Nichols, Public Information Officer for the Central Ohio Desert Knights.
To date, the Desert Knights have given away 12,000 pounds of food to the community.
“We know that during COVID, things have been really hard on a lot of people, and we’re given the opportunity to receive all this food, and what better way to give back and help people than give it all out for free,” said Nichols.
The boxes are USDA prepackaged, containing bags of potatoes, apples, pre-cooked meatballs, chicken wings, cheese, and milk, designed to last a family two or three days, said Nichols.
Nichols thanked the Huntington High School Senior Class, who will assist with distribution, and the Walmart Distribution Center, who donated a lot to help. Homeland Credit Union also assisted with donations, he said.
“We’re definitely pulling the community together in helping the community in its time of need,” he said.
This is common when the chapter does events like this.
“Honestly, without the support of businesses or anything like that, this would almost be impossible,” said the former Army Specialist.
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The Central Ohio Chapter engages in community work year-round, said Nichols, including other food giveaways, such as one in Circleville on Oct. 27, where the chapter distributed 8,000 pounds of food, and a similar event in parts of Columbus and Fairfield County on Tuesday.
Last summer, the Knights held an event in Pataskala which raised money for veteran families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. A few families in need will be taken shopping for whatever they need, including food, clothing, and toys for children.
“We want the message to be that just because we’re in the military doesn’t mean we stop serving our country,” said Nichols.
Those interested in learning more can follow the Desert Knights on Facebook at Desert Knights of America MC- Central Ohio Chapter. The chapter is planning another food giveaway in Chillicothe the week before Christmas, on either Dec. 15 or Dec. 22. More details are to be determined. The organization plans to bring 26,000 pounds of food for that event.