News: Mission partners step up to help food drive for area’s needy - drive ends Aug. 31
Story by Joseph P Cirone
WASHINGTON – Mission partners at Joint Base-Anacostia Bolling have stepped up to help feed the hungry in the National Capital Region with donated nonperishable food.
Mission partner cooperation has enabled an expansion in the number of collection boxes throughout the base, making it easy for military, civilian, contractors; their families and visitors to donate.
JBAB; its mission partners and residents are participating in the U.S. government-wide Feds Feed Families food drive, spearheaded by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
The annual event helps fill a gap during the summer months when food banks and food pantries struggle with an increase in demand from families and individuals, but a decrease in donations exists.
The increased need has more than tripled, according to the Capital Area Food Bank.
Brenda Richardson, deputy chief of staff for D.C., Council member Marion Barry, JBAB’s local council member, said, “Because of job loss and an increase in unemployment; a weakened economy; higher living costs and other issues, compounded by the recent storm-caused power outage, there is a dire need. Many people are still trying to recover from their losses.”
White CAFB boxes have been placed in a number of buildings throughout JBAB to accept voluntarily given nonperishable food, hygiene items, paper products and household items.
Donated items are removed from the boxes by volunteers, assisting members of JBAB’s Religious Services department and brought to the food bank throughout the food drive, which ends Aug. 31.
CAFB receives the collections and distributes it through their network of local food banks and food pantries that they partner with, according to Molly McGlinchy, a CAFB food resources coordinator.
This week, the White House Communications Agency; Navy Ceremonial Guard; Air Force Departmental Publishing Office and Commander, Navy Installations Command Fleet and Family Readiness joined the Defense Intelligence Agency; Defense Commissary Agency; Air Force 579th Medical Group; Air Force 11th Operations Group; Army and Air Force Exchange Service; Lincoln Military Housing’s Bellevue Housing and Hunt Companies’ Bolling Housing Community Centers in supporting the food drive and establishing collection box locations.
Additionally, JBAB’s Command Section; Public Works and Religious Services departments and the Warfighter, Family and Readiness’ Unaccompanied Housing Division are also supporting the food drive and have established collection box locations.
JBAB Religious Services department Air Force Master Sgt. Ray King, food drive co-coordinator, reported that 7,241 pounds of nonperishable food, hygiene items, paper products and household items have been collected and delivered to the food bank, so far. Much more food is needed to help feed the hungry, he said.
It is also not too late to request a collection box or volunteer to help collecting and delivering the items to the food bank.
Canned fruit; vegetables and proteins, including fish, chicken, beans and peanut butter; grains and cereals; soups, snacks and condiments; juice, paper products and hygiene items are most needed, according to McGlinchy.
DECA makes it easy for its customers to donate. The store pre-packages nine pounds of food in bags, which sell for $8.75. Customers in a rush or looking for an convenient way to help feed the hungry simply purchase the special bags and deposit them in a shopping cart basket on their way out, explained Linda Elliott, store manager.
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