FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Federal employees donated more than 17 million pounds of food to feed families in need last year -- a more than 3-million-pound increase over the previous year -- and the Fort Rucker Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation hopes to help make this year's effort even more successful.

Once again, the commissary will provide donation drop-off locations where potential contributors purchase their own food.

Additional donation drop-off locations include the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center on Andrews Avenue, Fortenberry-Colton PFC on Skychief Street and the Soldier Service Center, Bldg. 5700.

"It's a one-stop shop," said Aida Stallings, DFMWR community recreation division business manager. "Patrons can buy groceries for their home and donate to a home that is in need at the same time."

Food items needed for the campaign include: 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; and Grains -- brown and white rice, oatmeal, bulgur, quinoa, couscous, pasta, and macaroni and cheese.

The campaign runs through Aug. 31, according to Stallings.

"The purpose is to provide assistance all year long," she said. "This specific drive is only during the summer months. It is the norm for communities to donate during the holiday seasons, but sometimes we forget that the need is year round. This drive helps to keep those food lockers supplied during the summer months."

Patrons may also purchase pre-filled bags at the commissary for $5 and $10. Each bag purchased directly benefits local families in need.

According to Stallings, all donations are delivered to local food banks and will benefit families throughout the Wiregrass.

"We contact Wiregrass United Way when we have a load for them," she said. "They will come to Fort Rucker and pick up as many times as needed. The food is taken to the food lockers and distributed as needed."

Since the campaign began in 2009, federal workers have donated and collected nearly 57.2 million pounds of food and other non-perishable items to support families across America, according to a Feds Feed Families press release. More than 85 percent of federal workers live and work outside the Washington, D.C., area, so communities are being helped in every state. In 2013, employees collected nearly 9 million pounds of food and more than 14 million in 2014.

For more information, call 255-9631 or visit http://www.usda.gov/fedsfeedfamilies.