COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Soldiers of the 81st Regional Support Command volunteered an afternoon of their time sorting donated food at the Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia on May 22.

The idea came from Staff Sgt. Shanta Cooper who felt there was not ample community involvement by the Wildcats.
"We do 5K runs and things like that," said Cooper. "But I wanted to get us more involved with the [outside] community, so I thought of Harvest Hope."

The 81st troops met at the facility in downtown Columbia and sorted produce that had been donated. Produce has such a short shelf life that it has to be distributed as quickly as possible or it will spoil. Over the course of the afternoon, the group sorted several bins of lettuce and turnips much to the approval of the staff.

"You guys are very efficient," volunteer coordinator Erin Tyler stated. "We know when we get a group from [Fort}] Jackson, we're going to get a lot done."

At the end of the afternoon, Tyler gave them a tour of the facility, explaining to them the importance of their mission and how volunteers help to make it happen.

The 81st plans to do similar events on the Thursdays prior to each three of four-day weekend.