FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Fort Drum employees are setting aside time and food items to support the Feds Feed Families food drive again this year.

The annual campaign encourages federal employees -- both military and civilian -- across the country to collect nonperishable food items, cleaning supplies, baby and hygiene items to help families in need. All items collected here will be distributed to local North Country food banks.
This year, Department of Defense officials have set a goal to collect 1.5 million pounds of nonperishable food and household items.

The Fort Drum Commissary is in the process of setting up a donation area; however, customers may bring items to the customer service desk until the donation area is available.

Over the summer, many people are so busy with vacations and other plans that they forget about helping others in need, according to Bob Smith, store director.

"Feds Feed Families is a wonderful way to remember those who need a lift," Smith said.

"We encourage food items that are not perishable: canned food and boxed items such as (dinner kits) and macaroni and cheese, (as well as) canned meats, fruit and vegetables, chili, stews and soups," he continued, adding that juice boxes and drinks in large plastic containers also are good donations. "We do not recommend any perishable items."

This is the second year the installation has participated in the food drive. With unemployment rates still high in the area, programs like Feds Feed Families are more important than ever, Smith explained.

"I have always appreciated our command and other service entities on Fort Drum as they have set the standard for our partnership with the communities that support this division," he said. "When our neighbors hurt or experience an economic setback, it affects all of us. We must be there for each other as we are so important to one another."

Fort Drum's Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program is chipping in by picking up donations and transporting them to a central area where food will be sorted and distributed, according to Michelle Roden, BOSS senior program adviser.

"BOSS has three different components in our program: quality of life, recreation and leisure, and community service," she said. "This program falls under the community service component as our Soldiers will find a personal reward (in volunteering to help the community)."

Many federal employees live in local communities, and Feds Feed Families is a great way to support other families, Roden added.

For more information about the program, visit