Maxwell, Gunter take part in Feds Feed Families campaign



by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs


8/9/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- Maxwell and Gunter commissaries have joined with 180 others across the nation to participate in the Feds Feed Families campaign, helping installations give back to their communities through food collections.

Maxwell commissary manager Ermies Hernandez hopes the installation can increase their contributions before the end of August.

"Progress and participation are down this year from previous years," Hernandez said. "I would personally love to see an increase of participation through word of mouth, awareness, and larger donations."

On June 1, the Feds Feed Families Food drive kicked off its fifth-annual federal-wide campaign. Each year, the campaign encourages Department of Defense employees to give back to their communities by donating non-perishable food and personal hygiene items through their local base commissaries.

The last day to donate is Aug. 31, and Hernandez hopes base residents and employees will increase their contributions before the campaign ends.

Though there is no government-wide collection goal for this year, Hernandez hopes Maxwell will contribute 6,000-8,000 pounds and Gunter 2,000-3,000 pounds.

So far, Maxwell has had two pickups totaling 1,154 pounds, said Hernandez, who believes with the help of the entire installation, this campaign will have another successful year.

"This campaign has the potential to top over 10,000 pounds easily and much more if the desire and dedication is put into it," Hernandez said.

All proceeds will be delivered to the Montgomery Area Food Bank, where they will be distributed to the 12 surrounding counties serviced by the food bank to help the homeless, senior citizens, abused and neglected children, foster homes and others in need.

The campaign is counting on Maxwell to help keep residents in surrounding communities from going hungry this summer, said Teressa Vigneault, volunteer coordinator and administrative assistant at Montgomery Area Food Bank.

"Summer is supposed to be a fun time for everyone, especially children, but for many it is a very un-sunny time of year," Vigneault said. "It is fair to say that undernourished children become adults and the perpetual poverty continues to increase. That's why we are counting on all customers to help break the cycle."

Donation bins are located by the main exit doors at both Maxwell and Gunter's commissaries. Monetary donations also may be given at the checkout. Anyone may donate to the campaign.

Suggested items to donate are any canned goods of vegetables, fruit or proteins, including tuna, chicken or beans; soups; condiments; individually packaged snacks such as crackers, granola and trail mix, cereals, juice boxes; and grains like rice, oatmeal and pasta. Hygiene items may include diapers, deodorants, toilet paper, tissues, soap, toothpaste and shampoo.