By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterAugust 9, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 9, 2012) -- The Feds Feed Families Food Drive is a nation-wide campaign to help Soldiers and their Families through tough times, and Fort Rucker is doing its part to help.
"The campaign gives people the opportunity to help others," said Mike Burden, Army Community Service financial readiness program manager. "When you give things like food, that's a direct impact on people.
"People go to the food locker and get stuff they need like baked beans, diapers or [baby] formula," he said. "It has an immediate impact on those people."
Drop-off points are set up all over the installation at the commissary, the post exchange, Bldg. 5700, Picerne neighborhood centers and the Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Aviation Brigade Food Bank, where all the goods are stored.
Any non-perishable items are allowed to be donated for the food drive, but the most needed items are diapers, baby lotion, multigrain cereals, canned fruits, rice, oatmeal, pasta and other canned goods, according to Burden.
Last year's campaign theme was Feeding Families One Fed at a Time and Fort Rucker donated more than an estimated 400 pounds of non-perishable items, according to Burden, adding that the campaign was successful enough to keep it the same this year.
"We're basically doing the same thing we did last year," he said. "We saw no reason to reinvent the microwave."
Burden said that the commissary is a big player during the campaign and offers a lot of help during the food drive.
The items that are donated help Soldiers in need, their Families or any veterans in the Fort Rucker area, said 1st Sgt. Argelio Rodriguez, HHC 1st Avn. Bde. first sergeant.
"There are a lot of Soldiers here that need this kind of program, including a lot of the lower-enlisted Soldiers," he said. "Sometimes they have trouble making ends meet, but even for those that can make ends meet, there is always something that can pop up."
The food bank is there to help people in times of financial emergencies to not have to worry about where their next meal might be coming from, Rodriguez said, and gave an example of how the food bank has helped and even inspired Soldiers.
"I had a [Soldier] come in here last month who had his identity stolen online," he said. "His bank account had been drained and he needed help for the weekend until he got his money back.
"The last thing he asked before he left was, 'Who can donate?' We told him that anybody can whenever they want," said Rodriguez. "He said he never thought about [donating] before, but since it helped him out so much, as soon as he got his money back he was going to come back and give back everything that he used and then some to help out the next guy."
Rodriguez said it's important to donate to help out not only the Soldiers, but their Families as well because people never know when they might need the help.
The food locker is available to active-duty Soldiers, Reserve, National Guard, retirees and their Families.
"As long as they have an ID card, we won't turn them away," said the first sergeant. "If you have a need, we will help you out."
For more information, call 255-9631.