News: Guardsmen volunteer at local food bank
Story by Lt. Col. Lindy White
OKLAHOMA CITY – Soldiers from the Officer Candidate School Class 58 of the Oklahoma Army National Guard volunteered their time packing lunches and snacks at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
“It’s important to see the Guard out in the community, because that’s who we support,” said Aaron Worley, of Norman, Okla., community project coordinator for OCS Class 58. “I’ve been to the Regional Food Bank before, and that’s why I came back, because I love it.”
Worley decided on this community project because of the amount of support the organization provided after the recent tornadoes that devastated Oklahoma.
The Regional Food Bank, established in 1980, relies heavily on volunteers to put in the man-hours needed to pack food items for distribution. The OCS class worked with other volunteers to establish a packing system for sack lunches and snacks needed for their Summer Feeding Program.
“Every day during the week, we have volunteers help pack lunches and snacks,” said Liz Brandon, volunteer supervisor for the Summer Feeding Program. “Today we will have our volunteer group provide 2,155 lunches and 2,335 snacks.”
The sack lunches and snacks packed today will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, and other community centers.
“We rely on our volunteers,” said Melanie Anthony, manager of corporate engagement. “Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of the organization.
Anthony went on to say that last year they had more than 47,000 volunteers who worked nearly 160,000 hours, and that value of time calculated to be more than $2.9 million.
Members of OCS Class 58 are near the end of their training to become commissioned officers at the rank of second lieutenant. Their commissioning ceremony will be held in August at the Oklahoma Regional Training Institute.