ARLINGTON, Va. –Washington Capitals defensemen Karl Alzner and Jeff Schultz along with their wives recently spent a portion of their day off on March 27 delivering meals to the homeless through the Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol program.
Grate Patrol is a mobile meal program that brings an evening meal to the homeless of Washington, D.C.
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The Alzners and Schultzes served meals, distributed Caps blankets and spent time with citizens served by Grate Patrol at four of the program’s seven nightly stops within the northwest neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
“It’s tough for a lot of them,” said Schultz. “They’re not out here by choice, and whatever we can do to help them or make their night – we’re always happy to help in any way we can.”
Launched in 1985, Grate Patrol operates 365 nights a year, serving 150 meals each evening and more than 33,100 meals annually within D.C.
The program also provides material supplies including hygiene kits and clothing as well as transportation assistance and referrals to shelter, medical, employment and legal services.
“You see a lot of people, and they really appreciate what we’re doing for them tonight,” said Alzner, who was participating in the program for the second time as a member of the Capitals. “You can definitely see the happiness they get from this.”
The March 27 Grate Patrol marked the third year the Capitals have participated in the program. Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, Mike Green and Braden Holtby also have volunteered with Grate Patrol in previous seasons.