Fort Cavazos Resource Management team members Liane Forsythe, Financial Operations chief, and Suree Harris, lead financial specialist, pose for a photo before they drop off 260 pounds of donated food Dec. 20, 2023, to the Killeen Food Care Center. The office spent a month collecting canned and dry good to donate. (U.S. Army photo by Janecze Wright, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs)
Fort Cavazos Resource Management team members Liane Forsythe, Financial Operations chief, and Suree Harris, lead financial specialist, pose for a photo before they drop off 260 pounds of donated food Dec. 20, 2023, to the Killeen Food Care Center. The office spent a month collecting canned and dry good to donate. (U.S. Army photo by Janecze Wright, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

KILLEEN, Texas — The Fort Cavazos Resource Management Office wanted to do something special during the holidays last year to combat the staggering number of community members experiencing food insecurity and show them how much the Great Place cares.

The team collected 260 pounds of assorted non-perishable holiday related groceries and delivered the food to the Food Care Center located here, just in time for Christmas.

Wanda Ingram-Lambert, Resource Management director, explained that she thought the donation would be great way to give back to the community during the holiday season and encouraged her team to join her efforts.

The office spent a month collecting canned and dry goods and presented the donation to the Killeen Food Care Center Dec. 20, 2023.

“We can often forget how fortunate we are, and it was a great opportunity to give back and invest in our community,” Ingram-Lambert expressed. “It was extremely positive and shows that we genuinely care about our Soldiers, families and our community.”

Raymond L. Cockrell, executive director of the Killeen Food Care Center, conveyed that when he received a call from the Resource Management team telling him they wanted to do a food drive for the holidays, he was more than happy to oblige.

He explained that community partners like Fort Cavazos are vital in helping to keep up with the ever-increasing demand of those in need.

“We can’t serve the record numbers of families coming through our doors without the assistance from partners in our community,” he said. “This includes both food and financial donations. We distributed 750,000 pounds of groceries to over 42,000 people in need in October through December.”

Ingram-Lambert agreed, adding that, “with so many food insecurities, we need a strong partnership, relationship of trust and support. This also helps to eliminate the stigma or shame some families have when needing help. We are one big family and should always be there for one another.”

Feeding America, a U.S. based non-profit organization, reports that, “far too many U.S. service members and their loved ones struggle to access enough to eat,” and that an increasing number of military families are turning to food banks for help.

Cockrell added another alarming statistic from the Military Family Advisory Network.

“Recent surveys done by the Military Family Advisory Network identified as many as 28% of enlisted families on Fort Cavazos are suffering from food insecurity and 4% of officer’s families are also experiencing food insecurity — the highest in the country,” he said.

The numbers are staggering, Cockrell shared, making the partnership between the Killeen Food Care Center and the Great Place even more crucial.

“It’s vitally important to have a partnership with Fort Cavazos since over 28% (approximately 35,000 of the more than 121,000) people we served last year were military related — active duty, retired and/or veteran status,” he said. “It’s also important to partner with Fort Cavazos because it helps rise an awareness to the service that we provide to the military community experiencing food insecurity.”

Cockrell stressed that the combined efforts of the Food Care Center, Fort Cavazos and the community to eradicate food insecurity is imperative.

“No one should ever go hungry in our community,” he said, “most especially families serving and protecting our country.”