Food drive benefits Soldiers, Families in need
Staff Sgt. Laura Hodiwala, Headquarters Company, 1st Aviation Brigade, takes inventory of the Fort Rucker Food Locker's stocks July 16. A food drive will be held July 20 all day at the Fort Rucker Commissary to replenish the food locker's stocks of holiday items as well as any canned or non-perishable food items.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 18, 2013) -- The Army is well known for taking care of its own, and Soldiers of Class 13-018 of the Basic Officer Leaders Course have taken that Army value to heart.

The BOLC class, in conjunction with the Fort Rucker Commissary, will host a food drive to benefit the Fort Rucker Food Locker July 20 in front of the commissary, and Soldiers from the class have volunteered their time to benefit this cause, said 2nd Lt. Aaron Olson, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment.

"We have a class of about 50 people, so we're going to have people there in shifts and representatives from our class there all day," said Olson. "For this food drive specifically, we will be handing out a list in front of the commissary with bags to give to people in case they want to go in and fill them up to donate."

The food drive will continue for as long as the commissary is open that day. Any non-perishable items are welcome to be donated for the food drive, but for this particular drive, they are hoping to replenish the food locker with foods of a more festive nature. The food drive will hope to replenish the food locker's stocks of specifically yams, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, canned fruit and canned gravy.

"This is just a preferred list to help Families that might need the help throughout the coming holiday season," said 2nd Lt. Matthew Udderman, D Co., 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt. "but we will gladly take any canned or non-perishable food item."

The food locker on Fort Rucker is designed to benefit Soldiers and their Families that might be having a tough time meeting their basic nutritional needs, said Udderman, adding that hosting the food drive only serves to help the Army accomplish its mission.

"The Army is an organization that seeks to make sure that all the needs of (every Soldier and Family member) is being met," he said. "If a Soldier doesn't have the basic items that they need to support their Family, they're not going to be able to accomplish their mission while on the job, overseas or wherever they need to go.

"This takes care of the basic needs so that we can focus on the bigger picture," he continued. "I think proper food nutrition is one of the (major) needs on the (basic) hierarchy of needs. If you don't take care of that then you won't be able to properly function (in your duties)."

Olson agreed and added that those in privileged positions should do what they can to make the lives of those that might be struggling to make ends meet easier.

"When you've been put in a privileged position, you definitely have the resources and time available to help organize something like this," he said. "If you can (ask of) these people who might have extra resources to help somebody else, it's beneficial obviously for the person receiving it, but there's also definitely some satisfaction that can be had for the person that is giving as well."

Udderman said that volunteering is an important part of giving back.

"It's important to extend a helping hand to everyone in your community," he said. "Instead of looking out for just me, me, me, it's important to look out for everyone as a whole."

The food locker is open for donations year round, and is available to active-duty Soldiers, and members of the Reserve and National Guard, and retirees and their Families.

For more information, call 255-9631.

Page last updated Thu July 18th, 2013 at 12:16