FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Nov. 24, 2020) – Various units and organizations across Fort Bragg came together in friendly competition to gather the most food donations during the Base Wide Food Drive between Nov. 9 through 19.“We wanted to come up with a way for Fort Bragg to be able to provide support for the communities where many of our service members reside,” said Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Office. “The food drive would allow us to positively impact the community while, at the same time, maintain social distancing and mission requirements.”In 11 days, Fort Bragg raised a total of 17,761 pounds of food, which was distributed to food banks in Cumberland, Moore, and Harnett counties.“In preparation for the food drive, we contacted several food banks that informed us, due to COVID-19, they have seen a 30 to 50-percent increase in need,” Hill said.Hill added the prolonged impact of the pandemic has negatively affected many Families and the food drive provided a safe way to conduct community engagement during the COVD-19 restrictions.“We knew that something had to be done,” she said. “It is great to be able to give back to the community and help those who may be struggling during these difficult times.”Sharon McDonald, the Volunteer and Backpack Pals coordinator with Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, represents one of the receiving food banks in the community.“We all know the feeling of warmth, security, and belonging that comes from being around a meal with family,” McDonald said, “The holidays are usually a reprieve from day-to-day worries and struggles and a time to come together. This year, due to the COVID-19 crisis, 48,880 people may face hunger in 2020, including 17,110 children in the Sandhills area. Hunger is a serious problem every day in central and eastern North Carolina, but with the help and support of the Fort Bragg food drive, we are able to provide hope to neighbors in need during the holiday season.”Units and organizations who helped support the food drive include the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg Garrison, Womack Army Medical Center, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 44th Medical Brigade, 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, and 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group.USASOC won the friendly competition, raising 12,906 pounds of food items.“We are elated with the results,” Hill said. “Helping Families in need is key, and the food drive can help those Families get through this season.”Hill said this is the first year they held the Base Wide Food Drive, and they plan to make it an annual event.