FORT HOOD, Texas — The Armed Services YMCA of Killeen held a grand opening for their new Five-Star Food Market, Oct. 27, 2022, in Harker Heights, Texas, with the stated goal of strengthening military families, supporting healthy lifestyles, and assisting service members and their families in connecting to the community.
The market will be open once a week, and military families can choose the groceries they want and need, as opposed to the distribution of pre-packed bags of groceries.
“The story of this food bank is incredible,” said U.K. Maj. Gen. Michael Keating, III Armored Corps deputy commanding general-support. “We need to make sure that our Soldiers, families, and veterans are looked after, because we ask the most extraordinary things of them by going out and defending this great nation’s freedoms, which none of us take for granted.”
The market was made possible due to the initiative of MaryAnn Paul, of the American Legion Auxiliary, who reached out to Sheri Yerrington, executive director at ASYMCA, to address the problem of Fort Hood military families in the surrounding communities experiencing food insecurity.
“For over 24 years, I have been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, and my passion is helping our veterans and active military,” Paul said. “When you are passionate about something, you look for ways to help.”
The ASYMCA established the food market to assist military families in need of food by providing fresh produce, pantry staples, and other food items.
“We want Soldiers and their families to use this resource and never be ashamed of coming here and asking for help,” said Dorene Ocamb, the ASYMCA chief development and marketing officer.
The ASYMCA of Killeen distributed more than 6,000 pounds of food last year to Fort Hood military families in need each month.
The five-star food market is located on the second floor of the ASYMCA of Killeen location at 110 Mountain Lion Road, Harker Heights, Texas. They are open every Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those coming to shop must present a valid government issued identification. For more information call 254-690-9622.