By Airman 1st Class Isaiah Gonzalez, 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Life in the dorms can get a little bit lonely for some Airmen, and that’s one reason why the chapel staff have dedicated themselves to providing a venue for connections.
The 375th Air Mobility Wing chapel staff manages a weekly “dorm dinner” program that allows organizations to provide home cooked dinners for Airmen. Along with yummy meals, the effort gets them out of the dorms to socialize and interact with each other and many members of the community both on and off base.
“The goal of the weekly dorm dinner program is to create community and build connections,” said Chaplain (1st Lt.) Anthony Angell. “Think of the dorm dinner as a weekly Thanksgiving where members of this Air Force family have the opportunity to come together, break bread and socialize at the ‘home’ of the dorm residents.”
The dinner is free and informal, and many are not aware that other Airmen who are in the ranks of E-1 through E-4 are also invited to attend.
Angell added, that “anytime you get people together and add food, good things happen. These events also provide a sort of ‘safe haven’ where interactions between unit personnel and the junior enlisted are in a neutral, non-threatening environment.”
The dinners have been well received by Airmen for several years with an average of 80 in attendance. Sears said the chapel team have also added a cooking competition, in which the four highest rated units go head-to-head to determine the unit that prepares the best dorm dinner.
Sears said he hopes that even more Airmen feel welcomed to attend the dinners, especially if they will be here during the holidays.
Angell added, “I believe we all enjoy being cared for and a home cooked meal is a timeless token of appreciation.”
The dorm dinner take place every Tuesday in the Belleville Dorm Dayroom at 5 p.m., and the next one occurs on Dec. 18. The chapel provides the funds and the units will purchase, prepare and serve the Airmen each week. Units or organizations willing to host the dinners should contact the chapel staff.