A team-building project organized by members of the Army Contracting Command--Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., raised 8,613 ounces of food items in support of the APG-wide "Harvest for the Hungry" food drive.

The food will be donated to the Harford Community Action Agency that distributes food to homeless shelters, food pantries and after-school programs throughout Harford County, Md.

Members of the Tenant and Garrison Divisions began accepting non-perishable donations Feb. 19, with a goal to collect 7,000 ounces of food items.

"We have 88 people within the two divisions, so we estimated that if each person brought in approximately five 16-ounce items, that 7,000 ounces would be a good goal to achieve," explained Kirstin Hazlewood, contract specialist with the Technology Branch of the Tenant Division. "At the end of each day, we tallied the collections and kept track of our progress on our 'Food-Drive-O-Meter.'

"By the end of our food drive on March 6, our efforts paid off and we exceeded our goal by 1,613 ounces. This amounts to about 538 pounds of food and will provide about 400 meals for local families, she said.

Prior to the delivery of the food items, the divisions held a pep rally to reveal the donation totals and thank those who contributed.

"We expressed our gratitude to everyone for coming together to support a common goal and a worthwhile cause," Hazlewood said. "In this time of fiscal uncertainty, it is very humbling to see our divisions come together and help those who are not nearly as fortunate."

The food drive was the first event organized by the Tenant and Garrison Divisions' Team Building Committee. The volunteer committee was recently formed to build camaraderie and encourage teamwork among the two divisions.

"We saw this as an opportunity to help the community while bringing us together as a team," Hazlewood pointed out. "Since our first activity was so successful, we are planning more activities to help the community and to have fun getting to know each other."

In addition to Hazlewood, the Team Building Committee consists of Cheryl Gloor, contract specialist, Tenant Division; Russell Estep, purchasing agent, Garrison Division; and Tyce Bell, contract specialist, Tenant Division.