By Staff Sgt. Megan GarciaJuly 29, 2011
“We see the increased need for food during this time,” said Michelle Goodsman, Feds Feed Family program coordinator. “A lot of children are out of school during the summer months and aren’t receiving federal funded school meals. A lot of their parents are also out of work.”
Soldiers from the 529th Regimental Support Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the Washington, D.C. National Guard, traveled around the nation’s capital, July 27, in support of the 3rd annual Feds Feed Family food drive.
Unlike most food drives, which run throughout the year, Feds Feed Family focuses on the months of June through August for one primary reason, combating childhood hunger.
For Pfc. Randall Frenchman, a truck driver for the 529th Regimental Support Company, being a part of the effort was personal.
“I have three kids of my own. If something was to happen to me, it makes me feel pretty good knowing there are places out there that would take care of them,” he said.
Spc. Sean Sill, a truck driver for the 529th Reg. Support Co., said he enjoys the opportunity to take care of people and has participated in the food drive three times.
“To plan each route, we had to consider the load amounts and how close each location was. We also had to consider the height and width of the loading docks and alleyways when factoring in the sizes of the trucks,” Sill said. “I was up until midnight preparing.”
Likewise, as gratifying as it is for the Soldiers who pick up the food boxes, it’s just as satisfying for those who contribute.
“We participate every year,” said Coann Mitchell-Nation, an employee with the Office of Health Affairs. “We believe in taking care of families.”
Agreeing with his coworker, Michael Critchlow said he feels it’s one of OHA’s duties to feed families in need.
Bradley Benjamin, a security officer for the Department of Labor, admits there was a bit of friendly rivalry between all of the participating agencies, but the worthiness of the cause rather than the competition is what ultimately pushed the department to be competitive in their food production.
Old Guard Soldiers picked up boxes of non-perishable food items donated from more than 40 federal agencies ranging from the Department of Labor to the National Aeronautics and Space Center Headquarters.
This year, the program hopes to collect at least 2 million pounds of food. Old Guard Soldiers were willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to help meet this goal.
“We don’t plan on eating lunch,” Sill said, knowing hitting each location at the destined time is important.
“It’s a hot day for dragging these boxes around, but it’s comforting knowing
we’re doing something good out here,” Frenchman said.