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                 July 22, 2011

Community

Commissaries, agencies supporting Feds Feed Families campaign

By Kevin L. Robinson, Defense Commissary Agency Public Affairs specialist

FORT LEE, Va. — Commissaries in the United States have joined with other government agencies and organizations to support the 2011 Feds Feed Families food drive campaign, which is under way and runs through Aug. 31.

Customers who visit the Fort McCoy Commissary, building 1537, will see marked bins near the entrances and exits, where they can donate nonperishable food and daily hygiene items.
PHOTO: The food drop-off point at the Fort McCoy Commissary. Photo by Rob Schuette
The food drop-off point at the Fort McCoy Commissary. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) facilities are working with their installation commands to be drop-off points for food donations from commissary customers, employees and other government workers that assist charitable organizations in the installation community.

Steve Brown, Fort McCoy Commissary store director, said anyone in the Fort McCoy work force can contribute items to the program. Only authorized commissary patrons can purchase the items in commissaries.

As determined by the Fort McCoy Command Group, food collected at the Fort McCoy Commissary will be donated to Neighbor for Neighbor, Inc., a food pantry in Tomah serving people in Eastern Monroe County, Brown said. Neighbor for Neighbor, Inc., also was a participant agency in the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign.

“During these hard times, it is good to support our neighbors who live in the surrounding communities in keeping with the spirit of the Army Community Covenant,” Brown said.

The food drive is coordinated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Chief Human Capital Council to encourage federal employees to help supplement food banks across the country.

“DeCA is proud to partner with others in our military communities to help support the children and Families who are hardest hit by our tough economy,” said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. “Food banks across the nation are struggling to replace the items people depend on to survive, especially during summer months when donations are traditionally lower.”

Last year, the food campaign set a goal of raising 1.2 million pounds of food and other essential goods — they eclipsed that by receiving 1.7 million pounds in donations. This year, organizers have raised the bar for a goal of reaching 2 million pounds.
The most-needed items for donation include the following:

• Canned vegetables — low sodium, no salt
• Canned fruits — in light syrup or its own juices
• Canned proteins — tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter and beans
• Soups — beef stew, chili, chicken noodle, turkey or rice
• Condiments — tomato-based sauces, light soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing or oils
• Snacks — individually packed snacks, crackers, trail mix, dried fruit, granola and cereal bars, pretzels and sandwich crackers
• Multigrain cereal
• 100 percent juice — all sizes, including juice boxes
• Grains — brown and white rice, oatmeal, bulgar, quinoa, couscous, pasta and macaroni and cheese
• Paper products and household items -— paper towels, napkins, cleaning supplies
• Hygiene items — diapers, deodorants (men and women), feminine products, toilet paper, tissues, soap, toothpaste and shampoo

The Feds Feed Families campaign grew out of the Serve America Act that created “United We Serve,” an initiative that urged Americans to contribute to the nation’s economic recovery by helping their communities.

A commissary’s participation in this campaign is tied to its local installation’s ability to provide the support necessary to pick up and deliver the donated items.

“We hope many installations will be participating in the program and will provide the assistance DeCA needs to facilitate these donations,” said Randy Eller, chief of DeCA’s grocery/specialty division. “DeCA’s work force and our customers have the potential to make a huge difference in the fight against hunger in the nation through voluntary donations.”

For more information about the Fort McCoy food drive or the commissary, call 608-388-3542.

(Some information in this story is from the Fort McCoy Commissary.)

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