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US troops worldwide receiving java jolt from Wallingford

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WALLINGFORD --  Sometimes a small cup of coffee can make a big difference, especially for members of the military serving abroad.

And, a Wallingford church has been filling that need to the brim for some 11 years now. CCI Logistics warehouse in Wallingford was loading out Wednesday's shipments of 75,000 K-Cups.

"One's going out to Seal Team 7, in San Diego and the next one's going out to Camp Lejeune for their Marines," said Tom Jastermsky, the coordinator of what's troops have come to know as Holy Joe's Cafe.

This outreach began in 2006 through the First Congregational Church of Wallingford.

"One of our church members was deployed and they ran out of coffee with a base with 12,000 personnel on an Air Force Base," said Jastermsky.

At that point, a connection was made with Green Mountain Coffee, which today still provides all of the coffee free of charge.

"Last year, they donated 36 million K-Cups to us," said Jastermsky.

And CCI Logistics donates several thousand dollars worth of warehousing and labor every month.

"This is something special and everybody gets a kick out of the feedback (from troops) and the response that we get," said David Parise of CCI Logistics.

Over 220 million cups of coffee has been comped to U.S. troops, in 42 countries, over these 11 years.

"God bless them! That's great and I've got a part of it," said a smiling Mike Birch, a driver for Bailey's Express of Middletown, which trucks some of the goods at a sharply discounted rate.

The Girl Scouts of Connecticut have also climbed a board to help Holy Joe's Cafe.

"We are getting, right now, in another day or two, about 1,500 cases of Girl Scout cookies," said Jastermsky, who noted cookies and coffee are a nice combination.

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