Fort McCoy News July 22, 2016

Commissary patrons help drive Feds Feed Families

BY JESSICA ROUSE
Defense Commissary Agency

FORT LEE, Va. — Last year was a banner year for the Feds Feed Families campaign. The Department of Defense (DOD) collected more than 3.2 million pounds of food and personal-hygiene items for donation to local food banks and pantries. Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) employees and patrons contributed almost 50 percent, or a whopping 1.6 million pounds, of the DOD's total.

"Our customers are the main driver behind the donations," said Randy Eller, DeCA's deputy director of logistics. "Their contributions have increased our total 66 percent from 2014."

Feds Feed Families logo

The Feds Feed Families campaign, which runs through Aug. 31, was created as a part of President Barack Obama's United We Serve campaign in 2009. The program was started to help food banks stay stocked throughout the summer, when they typically see fewer donations and increased demand. Through the program, almost 57.2 million pounds of food and other items have been donated by employees from across the federal government.

This year, commissary employees and patrons are pulling together again to collect donations of much-needed nonperishable food and personal hygiene items. Prepacked donation bags, which can be purchased in store and placed in collection bins when entering or leaving, are available. Customers also may bring items from home to donate.

Donated items are picked up by the installations and delivered to local food banks or pantries.

The most-needed items for donations include:

• canned vegetables — low sodium, no salt.

• canned fruits — in light syrup or juice.

• 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 cereals.

• 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, and cleaning supplies.

• hygiene items — diapers, deodorants (men and women), feminine products, toilet paper, tissues, soap, toothpaste, and shampoo.

No official goals have been set, but — with the help of commissary employees and generous patrons — Eller said he thinks last year's numbers can be beat. "Let's all give our full support to this fantastic program, which feeds thousands of hungry Families across the United States," he said.

Fort McCoy community members can donate items at the commissary, located in building 1537, or at the following locations on post: IHG Army Hotels, building 50; the 181st Infantry Brigade, building 714; Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122; the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy, building 1361; Regional Training Site-Maintenance, building 1370; the Exchange, building 1538; McCoy's Community Center, building 1571; the Child Development Center, building 1796; the School-Age Center/Youth Center, building 1792; Religious Support Office, building 2675; and Regional Training Site-Medical, building 10000.

For more information on the Feds Feed Families campaign, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website at www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=feds-feed-families.

For more information about the Fort McCoy Commissary, call 608-388-3542.