Spc. Daria Jackson, left, a U.S. Army Reserve mass communication specialist, teamed up with Troopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, to volunteer their time to create food parcels for a Lithuanian food bank Feb. 2, 2021. Deimante Vaidilauskyte, center, the Maistobankas program coordinator, welcomed the Troopers who helped to feed over 100 Vilnius residents. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Daria Jackson, left, a U.S. Army Reserve mass communication specialist, teamed up with Troopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, to volunteer their time to create food parcels for a Lithuanian food bank Feb. 2, 2021. Deimante Vaidilauskyte, center, the Maistobankas program coordinator, welcomed the Troopers who helped to feed over 100 Vilnius residents. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Troopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment and an Army Reserve 319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment mass communication specialist attached to 2-8 Cav. Reg., help pack 100 food parcels to help feed Vilnius, Lithuania, residents Feb. 4, 2021. The volunteer spent about five hours making the food parcels, helping cook make soup and cleaning the food bank warehouse to help reduce food waste and end hunger. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Troopers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment and an Army Reserve 319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment mass communication specialist attached to 2-8 Cav. Reg., help pack 100 food parcels to help feed Vilnius, Lithuania, residents Feb. 4, 2021. The volunteer spent about five hours making the food parcels, helping cook make soup and cleaning the food bank warehouse to help reduce food waste and end hunger. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Daria Jackson, a 319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment mass communication specialist attached to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, grabs a box of dates to fill one of 100 food parcels Feb. 4, 2021, at a Vilnius, Lithuania, food bank. Currently on a rotation at the Pabrade Training Area, Jackson volunteered about five hours of her day to help end food waste and end hunger in the capitol city. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Daria Jackson, a 319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment mass communication specialist attached to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, grabs a box of dates to fill one of 100 food parcels Feb. 4, 2021, at a Vilnius, Lithuania, food bank. Currently on a rotation at the Pabrade Training Area, Jackson volunteered about five hours of her day to help end food waste and end hunger in the capitol city. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Austin Edwards, a Trooper assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, cuts carrots to add to soup Feb. 4, 2021, at a food bank in the capitol city of Vilnius, Lithuania. Edwards helped transform fruit and vegetables that were not able to be sold at local grocery stores, from “ugly food” to a soup that was distributed to the local homeless population. He volunteered about five hours of his day to help two kitchen staff who make about 650 meals per week. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Austin Edwards, a Trooper assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, cuts carrots to add to soup Feb. 4, 2021, at a food bank in the capitol city of Vilnius, Lithuania. Edwards helped transform fruit and vegetables that were not able to be sold at local grocery stores, from “ugly food” to a soup that was distributed to the local homeless population. He volunteered about five hours of his day to help two kitchen staff who make about 650 meals per week. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Bobbie Williams, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, moves a wooden pallet after cleaning it Feb. 4, 2021. Williams volunteered his time at the Maistobankas (food bank) in Vilnius, Lithuania. In addition to help cleaning the warehouse, he also helped pack 100 food parcels that will be distributed to home bound residents. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Bobbie Williams, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, moves a wooden pallet after cleaning it Feb. 4, 2021. Williams volunteered his time at the Maistobankas (food bank) in Vilnius, Lithuania. In addition to help cleaning the warehouse, he also helped pack 100 food parcels that will be distributed to home bound residents. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Capt. Spenser Swafford, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment fire support officer and officer in charge of the Non-Lethal Fires Team, cleans a wheeled rack at a food bank in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Feb. 4, 2021. Swafford is a part of rotation U.S. forces stationed at the Pabrade Training Area and traveled to the capitol city to volunteer his time to help end food waste and end hunger. Along with cleaning, Swafford also helped create 100 food parcels that will be distributed to local citizens that are unable to shop for groceries of their own or can not afford to shop for groceries. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea)
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Spenser Swafford, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment fire support officer and officer in charge of the Non-Lethal Fires Team, cleans a wheeled rack at a food bank in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Feb. 4, 2021. Swafford is a part of rotation U.S. forces stationed at the Pabrade Training Area and traveled to the capitol city to volunteer his time to help end food waste and end hunger. Along with cleaning, Swafford also helped create 100 food parcels that will be distributed to local citizens that are unable to shop for groceries of their own or can not afford to shop for groceries. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexandra Shea) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL

PABRADE, Lithuania – U.S. Army Troopers from 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment teamed up with a 319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment Reserve Soldier to volunteer their time to help feed homeless and homebound residents of Vilnius, Lithuania, Feb. 4, 2021.

“We feed more than 9,000 [people] in Vilnius,” said Deimante Vaidilauskyte, Maistobankas program coordinator. “Without volunteers, we will not be able to do our job.”

Maistobankas is one of the leading organizations that feed homeless populations within the country and supply citizens unable to leave their home to shop for grocery items. The organization also reduces food waste by salvaging fruits and vegetables that go unsold in local grocery chains and transforms “ugly food” into meals such as soup and dehydrated snacks.

“This is my first time in Europe. So far, I have been able to enjoy a few events here in Europe,” said Spc. Daria Jackson, a U.S. Army Reserve mass communications specialist attached to the battalion. “It’s just me and my sergeant here, so I really enjoyed getting out and assisting 2-8 Cav. Reg. with the food drive. It felt good to give back to the community and fulfil our duties while overseas.”

All who volunteered their time traveled about an hour from their current duty station at the Pabrade Training Area, Lithuania, to spend about five hours at the food bank. While there they helped clean the facilities to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 and assembled 100 parcels of food to be distributed to homebound citizens who are unable to shop for or afford groceries.

Spc. Austin Edwards, a fire support specialist, had an opportunity to share his cooking skills in the kitchen. There, he transformed ugly food to soup that will be distributed to the local homeless population.

“It was nice to help out as they were limited in volunteers. There were only two ladies cooking that make over 650 meals a week,” Edwards said. “I felt accomplished by connecting with the community. I would love the opportunity to volunteer again.”

As the final food parcels were packed and the warehouse was cleaned, the volunteers took an opportunity to pose for a group photo with Vaidilauskyte and a fellow Lithuanian volunteer. They turned in their aprons and piled into their cars to make the return trip to their temporary home.

“I had fun volunteering,” said Spc. Bobbie Williams, a multi-channel transmission systems operator/maintainer. “It made me feel good to volunteer and it was a nice experience. I would go back and volunteer again.”