News: Camp Atterbury holiday food and toy drive benefits local pantries
Story by Ashley Roy
FRANKLIN, Ind. - Soldiers and civilians at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Edinburgh, Ind., spent the holiday season giving instead of getting during the installation’s annual food and toy drive. From late October to Dec. 14, the installation directorates collected food, toys and coats to donate to food pantries in the surrounding counties.
Food donations in November totaled around four triwalls, and the most recent donations made, in benefit of the toy and coat drive, totaled four triwalls of toys, one triwall of coats and one triwall of food.
According to the Camp Atterbury shipping and receiving office, a triwall is a large cardboard shipping container that is approximately 40 inches long, 48 inches wide, and 45 inches deep. Shipping capacity varies with contents.
Many food pantries are hit hard during the holiday season and find it hard to keep up with the demand and distribution of goods. According to FeedingAmerica.org, in 2011 6.1 million American households accessed emergency food from a pantry one or more times, and 74 percent of pantries belonging to Feeding America reported an increase since 2006 in the number of families who utilized emergency food program sites.
With two separate distribution dates, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas, Atterbury collected enough donations to benefit four food pantries in the area.
Edinburgh Food Pantry in Edinburgh, Ind., and Mother’s Cupboard in Bean Blossom, Ind., received food donations from the Thanksgiving drive. The Lord’s Locker in Trafalgar, Ind., and Interchurch Food Pantry in Franklin, Ind., were gifted with toys, food and coats for families in need during Christmas.
With the holiday fast approaching, these donations will provide some families who would go without, a chance to enjoy the day without worrying about food or presents for their children.
Volunteers were on-hand at each donation location to aid the Soldiers delivering the donations, and expressed gratefulness for Camp Atterbury taking the time to collect and distribute the items.