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The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois is thrilled to announce it is partnering with Soulcial Kitchen in Swansea and its Currency of Caring program to provide 200 free, hot restaurant quality meals for the men and women serving at Scott Air Force Base who may be experiencing insufficient access to nutritious food. Food insecurity is a major concern throughout country, including here in our region. Unfortunately it also impacts some service members stationed at Scott Air Force Base, which is why the Leadership Council is getting involved and encouraging its membership to do the same.

The Currency of Caring program is a simple way of making a tangible difference in someone’s life who may be dealing with food insecurity or other related hardships. The not-for-profit program allows anyone to purchase a “meal token” for $8, which is then provided to someone who needs it. The recipient can exchange this prepaid meal token at a participating food preparer (restaurant or food truck) for an entree, side, and drink – no questions asked. This new partnership between the Leadership Council and Soulcial Kitchen will provide an initial 200 free meal tokens to the leadership at Scott Air Force Base to distribute to any servicemembers who may need them, with a goal of keeping the program going for as long as it is necessary.

“We have fantastic, supportive community members who provide assistance to our Airmen in many ways, and this is a good example of the partnerships that we have in the Greater Scott Community,” said Col. Chris Robinson, 375th Air Mobility Wing and Installation Commander. “Our Airmen will appreciate this gesture, and we thank the businesses and the private donors who are making this happen.”

“Having served as the former Commander of Scott AFB, I certainly empathize with the variety of needs facing some of our military members and/or their families,” said retired Air Force Col. Scot Heathman. “To get after problems like food insecurity and/or health and wellness matters, with actionable solutions, is priceless. I have faith and confidence that a programs like the ‘Currency of Caring’ can go a long way to meet some of these needs while bringing the military and civilian community together in a way that’s extremely positive. I also believe it will help reduce the stigmatism sometimes attached to asking or receiving support,” Col. Heathman added.

“Our goal with the Currency of Caring is simple,” Soulcial Kitchen founder John Michel shared. “Make it easy to connect and bless people through great food; so together, we can build stronger, more resilient communities while caring for those who may be struggling. Our hope is this effort to support our precious Airmen and their families in need at Scott Air Force Base will only be the first in Air Mobility Command, and maybe one day, even the entire Department of Defense,” Michel added. Learn more about the program at www.CurrencyOfCaring.com.