by Chief Yeoman Ryan Arnoldussen
Oxnard, Calif. – In support of the 5th annual "Feds Feed Families" food drive, the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Ventura County Chief Petty Officer Association and the NOSC Ventura County/Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 First Class Association donated more than 145 pounds of peanut butter to the Salvation Army Oxnard/Port Hueneme Corps.
Lt. Manuel Gaytan, commanding officer of the Salvation Army Oxnard/Port Hueneme Corps, said the organization will give the peanut butter to local families, make sandwiches to feed children for its Dream Makers (an after school program that introduces middle and high school student from urban and rural communities to career paths associated with the health sciences) and hand it out to the poor and homeless.
"When speaking with local community leaders and families in the community, they said they were in desperate need of peanut butter," Gaytan said. "Peanut butter is expensive compared to other nonperishable food items, which makes it difficult for them to keep in stock. Peanut butter is such a multifunctional food, you can eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is high in protein, fats, calories; it is an essential staple of a diet."
Gaytan said he was thankful for the donation and expressed optimism for the upcoming holiday food drives.
The food donation was also an opportunity for Sailors to see the value of community service, said Aviation Electrician's Mate 1st Class Michael Burkett, NOSC Ventura County Operations department head.
Speaking to the Sailors Burkett said, "Community service is a vital part of your time in the Navy. Wherever you go, you will be volunteering in the communities you live in. It is important for us all to get involved, volunteer and represent the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment in our lives outside of the Navy as well."
The Deputy Secretary of Defense requested Department of Defense support through donations of nonperishable food items for distribution to local food banks nationwide as a direct response to the "United We Serve" Act signed by President Barack Obama in April 2009.
For more information about Naval Base Ventura County, visit http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrsw/installations/navbase_ventura_county.html or learn more about NOSC Ventura County’s current events at https://www.facebook.com/NOSCVenturaCounty/info.