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Misawa's thrift shop opens new food pantry

The 35th Fighter Wing Misawa Air Base wing leadership and thrift shop employee and volunteer cut a ribbon during the Misawa Thrift Shop food pantry opening at MAB, Japan, Jan. 29, 2019. Active duty members and their families can now pick up non-perishable, shelf-stable and non-expired packing food items at no cost. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Xiomara Martinez)

Leadership from the 35th Fighter Wing and thrift shop employees and volunteers cut a ribbon during the Misawa Thrift Shop food pantry opening at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 29, 2019. Active duty members and their families can now pick up non-perishable, shelf-stable and non-expired packing food items at no cost. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Xiomara Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Alsvig, the 35th Fighter Wing command chief, donates a canned good during the Misawa Thrift Shop food pantry opening at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 29, 2019. Team Misawa members can pick up items such as oatmeal, beans, pasta, soups and condiments at no cost. (U.S. Air photo Force by Airman 1st Class Xiomara Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Alsvig, the 35th Fighter Wing command chief, donates a canned good during the Misawa Thrift Shop food pantry opening at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 29, 2019. Team Misawa members can pick up items such as oatmeal, beans, pasta, soups and condiments at no cost. (U.S. Air photo Force by Airman 1st Class Xiomara Martinez)

Thrift Shop volunteers and 35th Fighter Wing Misawa Air Base leadership pause for a photo during the Misawa Thrift Shop food pantry opening at MAB, Japan, Jan. 29, 2019. The thrift shop now offers canned good giving Airmen the opportunity to stock up on essential food items when in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Xiomara Martinez)

Thrift Shop volunteers and 35th Fighter Wing leadership pause for a photo during the Misawa Thrift Shop food pantry opening at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 29, 2019. The thrift shop now offers canned good, giving Airmen the opportunity to stock up on essential food items when in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Xiomara Martinez)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The thrift shop opened a food pantry at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 29, 2019.

Active duty members and their families can now pick up non-perishable, shelf-stable, non-expired food items at no cost. Items include, but are not limited to, oatmeal, beans, pasta, soups and condiments.

In addition, other non-food items are available such as plates, napkins, cups, paper towels and diapers.

Donations are accepted at the shop Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays of the month, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Items must be brought inside to a staff member for food safety purposes.

“This program gives Team Misawa members a safe place to grab essential items,” said Kimberly Henderson, the Misawa AB Thrift Shop manager. “The thrift shop continues to make community outreach and engagement a top priority.”

Not only does this new program aid in community cohesion, but it provides convenient goods necessary for base personnel’s readiness and sustainability.

“The thrift shop always offered goods at a reasonable price to take care of the base populace but now being able to provide food items to members truly aligns with Misawa’s mission and goal,” said Kristen Cockrum, the Misawa Officers Spouses Club vice president.

Henderson reassured community members it’s okay to reap the benefits of this new program regardless of rank.

“I urge everyone to take advantage of this program,” explained Henderson. “This is a great avenue, and we look forward to assisting anyone in need.